US law enforcement trouble to Google location data sharing users

All those Android users who have permitted Google to have access to their location data could land into legal trouble if something goes wrong in their Home or Office vicinity. Yes, you’ve read it right!

Law enforcement in the United States is nowadays said to be tracking criminals based on their location data. This includes those users who were close to the crime scene during specific time and dates.

So, what if the web search giant keeps a tab of the info might be your next question. Well, to those who are innocent it might not sound like a trouble. But if something goes wrong in an area and if you happen to live or work in the vicinity, then the cops might land at your doorstep for an inquiry.

Raleigh Police of North Carolina has at least went to court three times last year on this issue and succeeded in getting a warrant requiring Google to share the details of any users that were close to crime scenes.

As the practice has yielded some positive results, the US law enforcement is planning to regularize Google’s data sharing issue to some cities which have a high crime rate.

Cybersecurity Insiders has learned from Raleigh based news agency WRAL that the first crime which got solved with the help of GPS coordinates of few Android users was the murder of a cab driver in November 2016. The second one was an Arson attack which took place in March’17. And the third one happened to of an S##@@l Battery case happened in August 2017.

In all the three cases, cops used GPS coordinates to track down people who were in at least 20 acres vicinity of the crime scene. Google helped the cops by sharing data of users that entered those areas in time periods of between 60 to 90 minutes.

Generally, Google doesn’t share such details with the law enforcement. But after facing three warrants which yielded success in solving the cases, the internet juggernaut has been requested to continue the data sharing the task with the cops posted in cities having the highest crime rate.

So, the next if you find the cops knocking your door, don’t be surprised! As it can be a regular inquiry for ‘You’ being in the vicinity of a crime scene.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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