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Study Explores Privacy of Prison Communications

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An immigrant detainee makes a call from his 'segregation cell' at the Adelanto Detention Facility, Adelanto, CA.

People serving time in prison or jail in the U.S., which has the highest incarceration rate in the world, are almost constantly being monitored.


The constant monitoring of people incarcerated in the U.S. extends to communications between inmates and their relatives, according to a study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab Security and Privacy Institute.

Through interviews with 16 family members of people imprisoned in Pennsylvania, the researchers learned that participants were generally aware their communications with inmates were surveilled, but their understanding of more advanced monitoring methods, like voice-printing and location tracking for calls received on a cellphone, was limited.

The researchers said while prison communication companies have the technical capabilities to change, there is little evidence they would alter their surveillance practices without being required to do so by regulators.

From Carnegie Mellon University CyLab Security and Privacy Institute
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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