FBI asked Google for data about all users within the area

Aug

16

2018

around the crime scene
The FBI asked Google to provide information about users who were in a location of about half a square kilometer around different places within a certain period of time where robberies took place. Google has not provided any data so far.

Forbes writes on the basis of court documents that this was data in the context of an investigation into nine robberies in the city of Portland, in the American state of Maine. In the context of at least two of those robberies, the FBI wanted the data of all users who were within a certain distance of the robbery for a period of thirty minutes. According to the site, the total area covers an area of ​​approximately 0.45 km² .

The investigative service included data as a full name, an address, activity of the Google account and location history. Forbes writes that this “unheard request” basically applied to all Android and iOS users in the relevant area. The FBI would have waited a total of five months for the data, but Google has not yet come up with the data.

A lawyer tells Forbes that the request, which has been approved by a judge, amounts to ‘a completely random search of a large group of people’. A lawyer from the civil rights organization ACLU explains to the site that these kinds of requests, referred to as reverse location warrants , are normally sent to telecom providers. It would also be the first time that the FBI makes use of this possibility. The lawyer says: “This is an old school research technique, but a completely new competence.”

Eventually the FBI managed to arrest someone on the basis of shoe sole prints in combination with DNA from a shoe left behind. The research department also received telephone data, although according to Forbes it is not clear where they came from. Google recently came into the news after an Associated Press survey found that the company is collecting location data from users, even though they have disabled this feature.

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