The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a reprimand to both Surrey Police and Sussex Police, following the rollout of an app that recorded phone conversations and unlawfully captured personal data.
In June 2020, the ICO became aware that staff members across both police forces had access to an app that recorded all incoming and outgoing phone calls. 1,015 staff members downloaded the app onto their work mobile phones and more than 200,000 recordings of phone conversations, likely with victims, witnesses, and perpetrators of suspected crimes, were automatically saved.
The ICO considered it highly likely
that the app captured a large variety of personal data during these calls and it considered that the processing of some of this data was unfair and unlawful. Police officers that downloaded the app were unaware that all c
alls would be recorded, and people were not informed that their conversations with officers were being recorded.
The app was first made available in 2016 and was originally intended to be used as recording software by a small number of specific officers, but Surrey Police and Sussex Police chose to make the app available for all staff to download. The app has now been withdrawn from use and the recordings, other than those considered to be evidential material, have been destroyed.
Details at : ICO reprimands Surrey Police and Sussex Police for recording more than 200,000 phone calls without people’s knowledge | ICO