Increase In Police Requests On Mobile Location Data From Google

It is now quite clear that police view smartphones as storage of valuable things with regard to evidence. Reports suggest that law enforcement requests for gaining information from the database of mobile Location History of Google. The database is better known as Sensorvault. These requests have seen a sharp rise during the period of last six months. Now, while the exact volume of the requests is not quite clear, still there have been almost 180 requests within one week.

A number of these requests come from comparatively new virtual geographies, which issue warrants. They ask Google to send over the information regarding a location for every device, which passed through a specific region over a definite period of time. Initially, Google tends to make the data anonymous. Then, it would provide the names as well as other sensitive information if police feel that it tallies with the behaviour of any witness or a suspect. The greater importance is that there are certain legal as well as technical concerns to the increased dependence of law enforcement agencies on the history of a location. It is not that each and every police department would manage to seal identifying data, which has the potential to expose innocent people.

The information available is not a reliable one. It only goes over to confirm that a phone making use of someone else’s Google account was in the area. One cannot be sure that the person was indeed present in the area. This is not quite useful for iPhone owners as only limited people use Google Maps and are less probable towards running it any extent. The data on location can help police solve cases, which are otherwise difficult to crack. Still, this might well put the blame on innocent individuals.

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