Prosecutor's Office: Warrant Needed for Mobile Phone Positioning ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Public Prosecutor Heili Sepp said that the Prosecutor's Office must first grant permission for any search for the coordinates of a mobile phone using positioning services, even when the method is used to catch a phone thief.

Sepp told today that locating a phone afterwards or in real time both require a permit from the Prosecutor's Office, although only the real-time search can be classified as surveillance activity.

Postimees reported on Tuesday that police refused to use mobile positioning methods to find a stolen mobile phone, claiming it violates the rights of a suspect, adding that it would be a surveillance issue, which requires permits.

Priit Pärkna, head of the North Prefecture's criminal bureau, told ETV on Tuesday that police "can and will" use surveillance methods when needed, but finding stolen mobile phones is not a priority. He added that it was not a efficient way to catch criminals either, as mobile positioning is not very precise.