New anti-theft technologies for smartphones and tablets allow owners to lock and remotely wipe their device, but these solutions are giving suspects the ability to secure seized devices. Several police agencies in the UK recently reported that devices previously seized as evidence were wiped, all of them while in police custody.
"There were six incidents, but we don't know how people wiped them," said a spokesperson from the Dorset police department in the UK. "We have cases where phones get seized, and they are not necessarily taken from an arrested person - but we don't know the details of these cases as there is not a reason to keep records of this."
If this becomes a widespread problem, police need to change their practices, which should begin with putting all seized electronics in a radio-frequency shielded bag.