Thousands of innocent travellers are having their mobile phones seized and personal data captured by police at UK border controls, according to a report in the Telegraph.
The newspaper claims that, due to counter-terrorism laws, officers do not even have to show reasonable suspicion to scour the mobile phone data of any passenger coming into the UK by air, sea or rail.
For "as long as necessary" officers can retain data on calls made and received, contacts, photos and who the person is texting or emailing - though not the content of those messages.
David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism laws, is expected to raise the issue in his annual report this week.
He told The Telegraph: “Information downloaded from mobile phones seized at ports has been very useful in disrupting terrorists and bringing them to justice.
“But ordinary travellers need to know that their private information will not be taken without good reason, or retained by the police for any longer than is necessary.”