New Cell Phone Search Software Leaves Citizens Concerned

Posted on:

< < Back to

Ohio University and Athens Police Departments plans to implement a new cell phone search software are put on hold.

The cell phone search software would allow officers to search cell phones they have in their legal possesion.

This software would specifically be used to aquire information about anyone who has been arrested for a crime.

Ohio University Police Department Chief, Andrew Powers, plans to upgrade their current software to a newer, more updated software.

"Almost every investigation we have today involves electronic media. It is initial part of how people go about their lives," said Powers.

He said the software helps aquire information and the current system only works on a limited capacity.

Chief Powers said the new software will help the OUPD build cases against stalkers, threats, and various other problems.

The OUPD has discussed working together with the Athens Police Department to share the cost of this system upgrade.

The Athens Police Department does not currently have this software.

Due to multiple citizen complaints, the plans to upgrade the software are put on hold.

The APD police chief, Tom Pyle, said he can't comment on the software issue until he speaks to the concerns of the citizens at the city council meeting next Monday.

Council Member Jeffery Risner says he wants to make sure there are clear guidelines and procedures in place before the software is used.

"Privacy is the utmost concern for us, but we understand that there are criminal investigations that need to go forward and this type of software would be of use," says Risner.

Risner says he is not the only council member raising questions.

"What happens to the information that the private citizen has had downloaded? Is it erased? Is it archived? Does it go into an evidence room? What happens to all the phone numbers, photos and text messages that were extracted from a private citizen's cell phone?" said Risner.

Risner has compiled a list of questions and concerns he expects Cheif Pyle to address at the next City Council meeting.