UK: Thousands of innocent holidaymakers and travellers are having their phones seized and personal data downloaded and stored by the police

Officers use counter-terrorism laws to remove a mobile phone from any passenger they wish coming through UK air, sea and international rail ports and then scour their data.

Thousands of innocent holidaymakers and travellers are having their phones seized and personal data downloaded and stored by the police, The Telegraph can disclose.


Officers use counter-terrorism laws to remove a mobile phone from any passenger they wish coming through UK air, sea and international rail ports and then scour their data.

The blanket power is so broad they do not even have to show reasonable suspicion for seizing the device and can retain the information for “as long as is necessary”.

Data can include call history, contact books, photos and who the person is texting or emailing, although not the contents of messages.

David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism laws, is expected to raise concerns over the power in his annual report this week.

He will call for proper checks and balances to ensure it is not being abused.


Up to 60,000 people a year are “stopped and examined” as they enter or return to the UK under powers contained in the Terrorism Act 2000.

It is not known how many of those have their phone data taken.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/10177765/Travellers-mobile-phone-data-seized-by-police-at-border.html