Police can’t track live, encrypted VPN traffic, but if they have a court order, they can go to your ISP (internet service provider) and request connection or usage logs. Since your ISP knows you’re using a VPN, they can direct the police to them.
What information could a VPN give to the police?
When it comes to handing over the information about its users, it all depends on what data a VPN provider collects.
There are three main categories of data collection:
- Usage logs. These logs include visited websites.
- Connection logs. These records include times of connection, data usage, users’ real IP address, and an IP address assigned by a VPN.
- No logs. Some VPN providers keep no logs of your VPN activity, except information needed for billing and troubleshooting. Surfshark is one of them.
Some VPNs claim they don’t collect any logs, but it may be a facade. That’s why it’s crucial not to overlook privacy policies. You might see things you don’t want to see there, such as intrusive data collection.