Po­lice breached cell­phone cus­tomers’ char­ter rights: judge

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

TORONTO — An On­tario court has ruled that Peel Re­gional Po­lice vi­o­lated cell­phone cus­tomers’ char­ter rights when re­quest­ing a broad swath of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion from about 40,000 Telus and Rogers sub­scribers to help them with an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Telus and Rogers brought the Char­ter of Rights chal­lenge be­fore the court in 2014 af­ter po­lice asked the com­pa­nies for cus­tomer cell­phone in­for­ma­tion as part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the rob­beries of sev­eral jew­ellery stores. Of­fi­cers wanted to iden­tify peo­ple us­ing cell­phones near the stores around the time of the rob­beries. Po­lice asked for cus­tomer in­for­ma­tion for all calls routed through 37 cell­phone tow­ers dur­ing spe­cific time pe­ri­ods un­der what’s known as a tower dump pro­duc­tion or­der, ac­cord­ing to court records. In his de­ci­sion Thurs­day, Judge John Sproat of the On­tario Su­pe­rior Court said the in­for­ma­tion the po­lice sought was “par­tic­u­larly broad and oner­ous,” adding that they breached the char­ter rights of cus­tomers, specif­i­cally their “right to be se­cure against un­rea­son­able search and seizure.”

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