Police Using ‘Reverse Location Search Warrants’ to Gather Location Data from Google
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Thread: Police Using ‘Reverse Location Search Warrants’ to Gather Location Data from Google

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    Default Police Using ‘Reverse Location Search Warrants’ to Gather Location Data from Google

    Charlie Nash
    15 Mar 2019


    Police departments are reportedly forcing Google to hand over user data on those who were near crime scenes using “reverse location search warrants.”

    “Police departments across the country have been knocking at Google’s door for at least the last two years with warrants to tap into the company’s extensive stores of cellphone location data,” [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] Slate last month. “Known as ‘reverse location search warrants,’ these legal mandates allow law enforcement to sweep up the coordinates and movements of every cellphone in a broad area.”

    “The police can then check to see if any of the phones came close to the crime scene. In doing so, however, the police can end up not only fishing for a suspect, but also gathering the location data of potentially hundreds (or thousands) of innocent people,” Slate continued, adding that there “have only been anecdotal reports of reverse location searches, so it’s unclear how widespread the practice is, but privacy advocates worry that Google’s data will eventually allow more and more departments to conduct indiscriminate searches.”

    According to Slate, “WRAL was able to uncover four instances in which the Raleigh Police Department sought reverse-location data in 2017 for investigations into murder, sexual battery, and the suspected arson,” and police “were able obtain data for crimes that occurred as far back as 2015,” with just “one of the cases” resulting in arrest.

    “The department reportedly got the idea to use reverse location searches after learning that the State Bureau of Investigation in Orange County, California, had also employed the technique,” Slate explained, while police departments in Minnesota reportedly “obtained at least 22 reverse-location search warrants since August.”

    Slate noted that, “The warrants have, at times, sought location data in 33-hour windows, potentially giving officers information on tens of thousands of people. The warrants have sought to gather identifying data in crimes ranging from home invasions to a theft of $650 worth of tires. In one case, the reverse-location data was requested to help solve a fatal shooting from 2013.”

    The FBI has also reportedly used the technique.

    In a statement to Slate, Google claimed, “We have an established process for managing requests for data about our users, and in these particular instances, require a search warrant. We always push back on overly broad requests to protect our users’ privacy.”

    You can read the full report at [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].




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    If you ever thought you had privacy while owning a cell phone, think again. And that's not just smart phones, either.

    --Wag--
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    If you have ever used a credit card, got on the internet or anything similar, your privacy was gone decades ago.
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    Yet the reverse warrants can easily be neutered by a product that costs less than $10 .....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wag View Post
    If you ever thought you had privacy while owning a cell phone, think again. And that's not just smart phones, either.

    --Wag--
    When my brother killed himself the investigator told me that my other brother and i were ruled out as murder suspects because they pinged our phones to find out our locations when it happened.......
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    1984 and Big Brother in action!

    And if we allow the Socialist DemocRATS gain control of the USA, then it will become an every day thing.
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    Note that the presence of your phone is not a guarantee that you were with your phone at any given time. Leave it at home when you go out and maybe nobody will know where you are. Or just shut it off while you're out.

    Unless your car has GPS systems in it. Sirius/XM, OnStar, etc. all track your locations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wag View Post
    Note that the presence of your phone is not a guarantee that you were with your phone at any given time. Leave it at home when you go out and maybe nobody will know where you are. Or just shut it off while you're out.

    Unless your car has GPS systems in it. Sirius/XM, OnStar, etc. all track your locations.

    --Wag--
    That won't work, even when the phone is off it still reports were it is located, the only way is to remove the battery, but on the i-phone type it is not very easy to remove the battery.
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    Quote Originally Posted by friendof2nd View Post
    That won't work, even when the phone is off it still reports were it is located, the only way is to remove the battery, but on the i-phone type it is not very easy to remove the battery.
    I've heard that, too. My current phone does not have a removable battery and more and more, it's getting more commonplace with phones. Maybe intentional?

    --Wag--
    "Great genius will always encounter fierce opposition from mediocre minds." --Albert Einstein.

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