Law enforcement officials have been complaining for some time now that encrypted devices and encrypted chat applications are slowing down investigations. The key evidence that could be used in criminal cases is protected by encryption, which makes it difficult for the police to decipher these devices and obtain the evidence they need. Now, a recent UK report shows what modern technology can do when access to applications like WhatsApp is obtained. Cops in Wales managed to use a picture sent via the popular chat app to extract fingerprints belonging to an alleged drug dealer. This evidence was then used to obtain convictions.
The next image is the photo in question, showing a hand holding a bag of ecstasy pills.
the visible part of a finger at the bottom of this photo was sufficient to extract a viable fingerprint that could then be used to identify the criminal . As a result, the South Wales Police Support Unit helped to obtain 11 convictions
These are the first convictions in Wales that have used fingerprints obtained from photographs,  BBC . Police work has been described as "revolutionary," and agents pay more attention to photos on phones that can be used as potential evidence.
"This is a technique in the old [fingerprinting] not new" Dave Thomas told the BBC . "In the end, beyond all the rest, we took a phone and looked at everything that was there – we knew that he had a hand with …
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