Cover: Helping Law Enforcement Use Data from Mobile Applications

Helping Law Enforcement Use Data from Mobile Applications

A Guide to the Prototype Mobile Information and Knowledge Ecosystem (MIKE) Tool

Published Apr 28, 2017

by Edward Balkovich, Don Prosnitz, Steven C. Isley, Anne E. Boustead, Bonnie L. Triezenberg

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Consumer devices that automatically and unobtrusively collect data about their users, including cell phones and other mobile devices, are spreading. While these devices gather much data that is potentially helpful to law enforcement, they also complicate the interpretation of surveillance law and raise questions about privacy. Moreover, facilitating law enforcement understanding of and access to metadata may help law enforcement adjust practices as increased use of encryption decreases the availability of content information, even with appropriate legal permission. This report documents a prototype tool called MIKE (the Mobile Information and Knowledge Ecosystem) created to help interested stakeholders — law enforcement, commercial enterprises, regulators, legislators, and the public (including advocacy groups) — better understand the mobile app ecosystem and the relationships among the data, its sources, and applicable legal constraints. This volume describes the prototype, explains how it was developed, provides a manual for those who are interested in using it, and discusses how the prototype might be updated and extended.

The research reported here was sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and conducted by the Justice Policy Program within RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment.

This report is part of the RAND research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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