Can my cell phone records be subpoenaed without my knowledge?

The records kept by wireless phone companies about cell phone usage are very high and very detailed. Companies keep every description about phone calls, text messages are sent and received, and when information got transferred.

But you may wonder, can my cell phone records be subpoenaed without my knowledge? The reason behind this is because all types of information that is inside the storage can be used in court when needed. This article will show you the answer to your doubts and what kind of information can be subpoenaed.

What do cell phone records show?


Cell phone records, known as “call detail records,” can show the caller’s phone number, the call duration, the start and end time of the call, and the cell phone tower connected to the phone. Text message metadata is also obtainable, but the messages’ actual content is not in the CDR.

A call record will contain all call attempts, whether they are connected or have not connected. The cell tower, and therefore the location, is only available on request for each connected phone call.

Text messaging in the call detail record; however, the message’s content is not. Someone should make an appeal to the cell phone company within days of the incident.

Not all messages are considered text messages. iMessage, for example, uses end-to-end encryption and data/WIFI connections to send and receive instead of SMS. That’s is what Apple uses from its devices, and it returns to SMS if iMessage is not available.

Due to these alternative systems, cell phone companies are not aware of these messages. So, does Apple have access to the content of the messages? Not necessarily. They encrypt the details without the ability to decrypt them.

Only the receiver phone/device can translate it (end-to-end encryption). That is why Apple cannot comply with federal and local government sub-centers. If we focus on the point that Can my phone records be subpoenaed without my knowledge

Cell phone records used in court

Location information stored in call detail records can be used to determine if the phone is near a particular location. For example, it can be essential to know if a person is near a place when a fire is started in insurance cases.

Call detail records may allow an expert to determine that the phone was in the common area at the fire or near another incident. We have used this information in cases involving fire, explosions, and hit-and-run auto accidents.

It is essential to obtain a call detail record from a wireless phone company to take a complete picture of what happened in many cases.

What is the validity of call recordings without informing the person?

The recording of a conversation depends on the nature of the recording method, based on fact. Tape recordings have been validated repeatedly by courts in India, but this does not automatically make tape recordings valid.

Tape recordings have been considered good when governed by the government or duly followed by the procedure established by law. In short, constitutional laws are not very clear when telephone conversations can be recorded.

Now, if a telephonic conversation is recorded with both parties’ consent, either by a third person or by participants, it is legal because it becomes consensual. (Note: Here it is only permitted, necessary to be more acceptable).

Further, if it is entered by a participant or by a third person with one of the participants’ consent, there is nothing in the law that prohibits it. Therefore, it is also legal, but you have to prove its authenticity to be accepted.

Using the call recordings as evidence

  • It would help if you authenticated the tape by interval for the originality of the tape
  • You have to prove its relevance.
  • If the court is fit to consider the tapes, it becomes proof.