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Devices in police custody being remotely wiped

delete-binAll the data on some of the tablets and phones seized as evidence is being wiped out, remotely, while they are in police custody, the BBC has learned.

Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Durham police all told BBC News handsets had been remotely “wiped”. Dorset police said this had happened to six of the seized devices it had in custody, within one year.

The technology used was designed to allow owners to remove sensitive data from their phones if they are stolen.

If a device has a signal and if special software for this purpose has been installed, it is possible to wipe it remotely.

Microwave help

When Forensicron seizes a device for digital forensics, we put it immediately into a radio-frequency shielded bag, which prevents any signals from getting through.

If we can’t get to the scene within an hour, we tell the client to pop it in a microwave oven.

The microwave is reasonably effective as a shield against mobile or tablet signals – just don’t turn it on.

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