Skip to comments.Google tracked his bike ride past a burglarized home. That made him a suspect.
Posted on 03/07/2020 8:29:48 AM PST by BenLurkin
Googles legal investigations support team, writing to let him know that local police had demanded information related to his Google account. The company said it would release the data unless he went to court and tried to block it. He had just seven days.
He had an Android phone, which was linked to his Google account, and, like millions of other Americans, he used an assortment of Google products, including Gmail and YouTube. Now police seemingly wanted access to all of it.
In the notice from Google was a case number. McCoy searched for it on the Gainesville Police Departments website, and found a one-page investigation report on the burglary of an elderly womans home 10 months earlier. The crime had occurred less than a mile from the home that McCoy, who had recently earned an associate degree in computer programming, shared with two others.
Now McCoy was even more panicked and confused. He knew he had nothing to do with the break-in ─ hed never even been to the victims house ─ and didnt know anyone who might have. And he didnt have much time to prove it.
McCoy worried that going straight to police would lead to his arrest. So he went to his parents home in St. Augustine, where, over dinner, he told them what was happening. They agreed to dip into their savings to pay for a lawyer.
The lawyer, Caleb Kenyon, dug around and learned that the notice had been prompted by a geofence warrant, a police surveillance tool that casts a virtual dragnet over crime scenes, sweeping up Google location data drawn from users GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular connections from everyone nearby.
(Excerpt) Read more at nbcnews.com ...
Big Brother Google is watching.....wonderful world we live in, gg. /s
Did I hear someone say “Big Brother”???
One more reason why my phone is in airplane mode when carrying it on my bike.
This is becoming a nightmare.
“One more reason why my phone is in airplane mode when carrying it on my bike.”
I thought you can still be tracked in airplane mode..
What the hell is a geofence warrant? That sounds so unconstitutional its not even funny. The police cannot get a blanket search warrant to search every house in a particular area. How can they get a warrant to search every electronic device in a particular area?
This article is well-written, informative, and goes into greater depth than usual. I wish there were more news articles like this.
They aren’t searching his device.
They are looking at the “pings” that his device has left behind on his route.
His device is communicating with mobile phone towers.
“This is becoming a nightmare.”
Privacy, civil rights and illegal surveillance laws are way behind the times in the digital era.
One of the differences between an Android phone and an Apple iOS device is that the Android phone collects *your specific information in non-anonymized fashion* as a product for Google to sell to companies or any interested parties. The price delta between an iOS device and a comparable Android phone is so Apple doesn’t *have* to turn its users into products to sell.
This is aside from third party programs on either platform that may track you, specifically talking about fresh-out-of-the-box units that have no extra apps installed. Once you install other apps, it’s on the owner.
Actually, they don’t have to check cell tower pings. Android devices report their GPS location to Google by default.
You can. The difference is that the phone isn’t transmitting. GPS does not require transmission and in many cases the Android phone carefully remembers where you’ve been in airplane mode and sends a history to Google when you take it out of airplane mode.
I saw a show 3 or 4 years ago — Stossel, I think — and he got a Google printout of his day(s). Some of the time the phone was turned off. It went so far as to tell where he stopped and got out of the car (a taxi, I think) at museums or similar. IIRC, it was more than triangulation among towers.
2017 Samsung 7 here with a removable battery. because they can still track you in ‘airplane mode’.
And they went from the removable toll tags that velcroed to your windshield to adhesive ones that you couldn’t pull off and wrap in foil when you weren’t driving on the toll roads. Because the readers are even on some suburban neighborhood streets now.
> Think footprints <
That is an interesting analogy. But you have no expectation of privacy when it comes to making footprints. You do have an expectation of privacy when it comes to anything regarding your cell phone use.
Very interesting that McCoy went to a great deal of trouble to stay anonymous online, but did not realize his bike riding app was tracking him everywhere.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.