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Students learn how law enforcement utilizes cell phones

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Students learn how law enforcement utilizes cell phones
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Most people don't think twice before taking a picture, sending a text message or searching the Internet on their cell phones. But the Oneida County Bar Association says maybe you should. Cara Thomas says many times people incriminate themselves without even knowing it.

UTICA, N.Y. -- Smart phones have become the Swiss-Army knife of technology. Holding sometimes 32 mega-bites of data, thousands of apps, and Internet access, a lot can be told about a person by looking through his or her phone.

"Who do they routinely speak to? Where physically have they been? Geo location information, pictures and videos certainly are obvious. It's amazing there are people who commit crimes and actually film themselves committing the crime," said Anthony Martino, Director of the North East Cyber Forensics Center at Utica College.

While instances like that are rare, police and prosecutors now use evidence from cell phones on a regular basis, even the U.S Supreme Court is doing it.

"So obviously if the highest court in the United States are considering the criminal aspects of the information that was taken from those cell phones and whether or not the information was obtained properly by police to be used against the defendant in a criminal case, it's certainly relevant," Donald Gerace, President of the Oneida County Bar Association said.

That's why the Oneida County Bar Association felt it was a good theme for this year's Law Day. About 100 high school and college students heard from lawyers, judges, and professors about the ramifications of reckless cell phone use.

"I think it really opened an eye to really what the consequences of our actions could be, what it could do to our families and stuff like that," Francesco Papa, a high school junior, said.

"There's no way to impart strongly enough that you should never take a photo of anything, a video of anything or put anything on a cellular phone or any other Internet connected device that you don't want to be publicly known or seen," said Martino.

An amazing technology that can be a blessing and a curse for all who use it.

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