Yesterday, Shenna blogged on the discovery of a tracking file built into the iPhone.  Thanks to this hidden feature, all movements for the past year are stored and easily accessible to anyone with the know how to get to it. 

But just how difficult is it to pull information off a cell phone, even information that is deleted or hidden?

So easy, you wouldn't know it.  The ACLU of Michigan has repeatedly been asking the Michigan State Police to release information regarding the possible use of portable devices which can be used to secretly extract personal information from cell phones during routine stops. 

The "mobile forensic" devices, manufactured by a company called CelleBrite, can extract a wide variety of data from cell phones including contacts, text messages, deleted text messages, call history, pictures, audio and video recordings, phone details including the phone number and complete memory file dumps on some handsets.

The Michigan State Police purchased these devices in 2006 and have stonewalled numerous FOIA requests by the ACLU of Michigan to find out how they are being utilized.  This unfortunate reluctance to comply indicates that the MSP may indeed have used the devices in violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.