GPS Tracking and Human Trafficking

Very often in exploitation cases, mobile devices contain value context. But to find it, police need to know what to look for.Pimps, labor traffickers and others communicate with both their victims and with one another via mobile device. Some of the communications–call logs can show evidence of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and stalking, as well as drug abuse, all of which many pimps and traffickers use to intimidate and control their victims. Because traffickers may move their victims in an effort to avoid detection, GPS and other location-based data can be valuable.
Linking data from multiple devices can help police build conspiracy cases. GPS data associated with images can be especially important. Incidentally, these types of evidence also exist in removable, concealable storage devices like SD (and microSD and nanoSD) cards, call detail records, cloud storage and device backups, wireless routers (including personal mobile routers such as the Novatel MiFi) and pocket-sized external hard drives.

Human trafficking and child exploitation are evils that come in many different forms. Knowing that evidence of these crimes exists on mobile devices, and how to get the evidence, will help you rescue victims and build better cases against their traffickers.

Learn more at Christa M. Miller’s article: Mobile Forensics & Human Trafficking.


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