23 August 2017

South Africa: Cellphone Privacy - Law Enforcement Pulls 70,000 Subscribers' Call Records Each Year - and That's a Minimum Estimate

Photo: Abubaker Lubowa/Daily Monitor
(file photo).
analysis

In May this year, Daily Maverick revealed that South African intelligence services legally compelled the major mobile network operators to hand over thousands of customer call records annually. Although call records can play a vital role in criminal investigations, we demonstrated that law enforcement had broken the law to obtain such records with relative ease, at times for nefarious purposes. Subsequently, advocacy group Right2Know approached the four major network operators to provide statistics pertaining to call record releases. But even with the information they availed, the numbers are at best an estimate. And that's a bad thing. Here's why. By HEIDI SWART.

South African law enforcement services frequently use cellphone records to investigate criminal suspects. Call records include the time a call was made or received, the numbers of the parties involved in the call, the call duration, the starting and finishing times of the call, who the owner of the phone and the SIM card is, and an approximate location of the caller during the call. These records allow law enforcement to build up an accurate picture of your daily routine - where you sleep, who you associate with, who is closest to you, where you go for your...

South Africa

Warning Signs Flash As Governance Progress Slows

Forty of Africa's 55 nations have improved their standards of governance in the past decade, while only 12 have seen a… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 Daily Maverick. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.