NYT: Tracking Phones, Google Is a Dragnet for the Police The tech giant records people’s locations worldwide. Now, investigators are using it to find suspects and witnesses near crimes, running the risk of snaring the innocent. by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries
Gizmodo: The Feds, Police Are Using Google’s Location History Feature to Track Down Suspects by Tom McKay:
Law enforcement queries of Google’s massive mobile device Location History database, which employees call Sensorvault, has “risen sharply in the past six months,” the New York Times reported on Saturday, citing sources at the company.
It’s not clear how often police ask Google to produce results from the database, which can be used to narrow down which devices were in a specified geographic location at a certain period of time (mostly phones running its Android OS, but also some ones on Apple’s iOS). The technique can be used to generate leads. But critics say it resembles a fishing expedition that raises constitutional questions under the Fourth Amendment, which restricts the scope of warrants and mandates authorities show probable cause to search, the Times wrote: …