Data retention question

Alex Burr ajb44.geo at
Tue Jul 15 00:01:33 BST 2014

I hope this isn't a dumb question: I'm trying to figure out whether 'location data' in retained data includes location while a mobile device is not active in a call/text. I'm finding conflicting information, does anyone know precisely?

On the face of it, DRIP & the invalidated directive call for 'cell id at the start of a communication', which sounds like only when a call or text happens. This sounds like location when the phone is in standby is not logged (this is apparently the case by statute in the Netherlands, according to val Loenen [1, p100] However, the German politician Malte Spitze found that his mobile was being tracked every 10 minutes because of polling by an email client [2]. 

Does anyone know if this applies in the UK? So far all I've found is a slide set by a forensics company [3, slide 7] which  says "Operators will in general only retain records relating to call activity • GPRS Data is frequently available, giving data without call activity • There are several exceptions including Home Location Register updates". My knowledge of mobile systems is a bit hazy but I've guessing if 'Home Location Register' was logged then the location would be retained data even during standby.
In summary, does anyone know if
 a) location data is retained during standby in the UK?
 b) location data is logged at a fine grain due to email polling in the UK?





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