Facebook, Instagram help Bengaluru cops gather data, build cases

Bengaluru police say in cases that are stalled or with no leads, social media is a boon.

Published: 10th January 2019 11:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th January 2019 11:18 AM   |  A+A-

Police

Image used for representational purpose only

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Social media has become an important source for potential digital evidence for the police. According to a senior police official, “For many years, police investigation teams have been quietly using social media to track criminals, and in many cases, posts on Facebook and Instagram have been evidence collecting tools too.”

For instance, in a recent hit-and-run case, the witness revealed the vehicle number of the accused, but the owner refused to accept that he was in the area on that particular night. Police then checked his Facebook account, which had public information, on which he had shared that he was in the area before the accident. Later, when questioned, he had confessed to the crime.

In another case, there were several posts on Facebook where a husband and wife publicly expressed their marital discord. Later, the wife was found dead in a suspicious manner. A case of Unnatural Death Record (UDR) was filed, and only after the police went through their Facebook posts, it was revealed that the wife had an extramarital affair, and the husband killed her.

“Social media often helps us gather evidence. Especially when cases are stalled or leads are not forthcoming,” said another officer, on condition of anonymity. Legally, though the police cannot access private information from social media, public information is available to all and can be used as collaborative evidence.

“While public domain social media is data that the user shares publicly online, private social media data has limited access,” explained Yeshwanth, inspector, Cyber Crime. Many times, the police said, there is information or pictures/messages that get saved on the cloud, which becomes a virtual goldmine of evidence.

“In cases of cybercrime, murder, cheating, crimes over extramarital affairs, domestic violence, child abuse, etc, a peek into social media has always given us clues,” said a senior officer, on condition of anonymity.

Interestingly, the police also use Instagram and Facebook accounts to track down the number of new gang members. “If a first-time offender gang reveals information about only those nabbed, and tries to hide information about other members, their photos online reveal a lot about the exact number of people in the gang,” said an officer.

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp