Cheap smartphones have recycled memory chips that can lead to wrong convictions as the chips were not appropriately emptied before being soldered onto new pcb.
When accused are arrested in some countries it can be based on illegal usage or possession of certain pictures (e.g. pornography) or applications (bylock, eagle). The phones are manufactured in China using recycled phones which still contain illegal data from previous user. The Data is not visible to new owner but to police forensics.
This is due to the manufacturers just formatting the chips and installing new android version. This eventually will lead to phones being inspected by police forensics. Here they find illegal applications (e.g. bylock, eagle, whatsapp, …) and photos (pornography) which is illegal in some countries.
Until recently is was not known how these cheap phones are made. There is a wide range of cheap fake phones and very cheap branded phones being sold in countries like China, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Iran and other countries. In some of these countries (Turkey, Iran, UAE) the innocent people are punished by jail sentences or even physical punishment. This where ACATO can prove innocence of the convicted.
Since these cheap Chinese brand are entering Europe more and more, it will lead to an increase of pornography related convictions that put innocent people in jail or discredit them for life. The research conducted in China, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey and other countries shows how the negative effect or recycled chip has on the defense of accused.
The research into this false evidence has become visible through the chip off research conducted by ACATO and its Partners. In some cases the forensics laboratory of ACATO was asked to investigate cases in regards to such accusations finding that either the device never had such data or applications (bylock) or the evidence dated from a time frame when the smartphone was not yet manufactured.
ACATO provides forensic laboratory services for courts, lawyers, accused, police forces and companies around the world. It help extract evidence from locked, damaged or deleted smartphones.