New York Times: the company used to records Google Maps to track the suspects in the crimes

The New York Times reported on Saturday citing sources in the police to question law enforcement in the United States about the base of big data to “Location History” on mobile devices, which allows its staff “the Crypt of the sensor” SensorVault, has risen sharply in the past six months.

It is not clear the number of times the requesting company from Google to provide results from the database, which can be used to narrow the scope of the existing devices in a specific geographical location at a certain time, a feature that works on most Android phones, but also some iPhones.

This technique can be used to find clues to the suspects, but critics say it’s like a fishing expedition that raises questions of constitutionality under the Fourth Amendment, which restricts the scope of the search warrants required the authorities to demonstrate probable cause to search.

She wrote The New York Times: “the use of this practice for the first time by the Agents Association Executives in 2016, according to the staff of Google, reported publicly the first time last year in North Carolina. And spread since then to the local administrations throughout the country, including California, Florida, Minnesota and Washington. Said one of the Google staff in the current year the company received up to 180 applications in one week. Refused to Google to confirm accurate figures”.

The newspaper added: “This technical phenomenon as long as the referred to privacy advocates it as “if you have created, they will come” – at any time create a technical system that can be used in surveillance, law enforcement is inevitably going to door, asking for it. According to Google, includes SensorVault records of the detailed locations include at least hundreds of millions of devices all over the world dating back to nearly a decade”.

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Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in the United States that the authorities must get a search warrant and show probable cause to obtain records of the websites of third parties such as Google, however Google has decided it will launch the orders before the delivery of the data. Given that all the “search warrant specific as soon as a geographical”, which vary from small spaces to spaces larger coverage of groupings of the multi-residential, and over time intervals are similar, can require access to information websites in hundreds of devices owned by several persons, the company is offering first records without attaching the people’s names and identifying information of investigators.

Once the authorities are reducing the number of people who say to solve the case, such as identifying movement patterns that indicate potential involvement in crime or potential witnesses were in the area, they can request further data from the site or Google’s claim to disclose “the name, address, e-mail and other data associated with the device. However, it may require some jurisdictions a second before the delivery of the identification information.

According to the Times, Google is the main company that seem to implement the memorandum of inspection other than Apple that says she can’t provide this information to the authorities.

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