Google is watching you all the time, and reporting your location to the police

2020 Mar 8, 11:05am   606 views  5 comments

by Patrick   ➕follow (49)   💰tip ($0.87 in tips)  


“I was hit with a really deep fear,” McCoy, 30, recalled, even though he couldn’t think of anything he’d done wrong. 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.

“I didn’t know what it was about, but I knew the police wanted to get something from me,” McCoy said in a recent interview. “I was afraid I was going to get charged with something, I don’t know what.”

There was one clue.

In the notice from Google was a case number. McCoy searched for it on the Gainesville Police Department’s website, and found a one-page investigation report on the burglary of an elderly woman’s 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 ─ he’d never even been to the victim’s house ─ and didn’t know anyone who might have. And he didn’t 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.

The warrants, which have increased dramatically in the past two years, can help police find potential suspects when they have no leads. They also scoop up data from people who have nothing to do with the crime, often without their knowing ─ which Google itself has described as “a significant incursion on privacy.”

Comments 1 - 5 of 5   

1   Ceffer   2020 Mar 8, 11:13am  

I barely use my cell phone except to read books (hopeless Luddite). However, upgraded to Samsung Galaxy S8 recently, much faster than my old primitive cell.

Google send me some Pollyanna congratulations about using its gps capability and showed me a map of where I had been in the last months. "Congratulations, you have wisely chosen to fuck yourself in the ass with our wonderful spyware! Isn't it cute?"

Problem was, it showed me in areas of Contra Costa County where I had never been in the last few months. So what is that all about? Are there interceptors that put false location data on these things? I keep the damned thing off most of the time. I guess I should start keeping it in one of those shielding packages, and I shut off the spyware as best I could (probably to no avail).
2   MisdemeanorRebel   2020 Mar 8, 11:24am  

PinePhone is still out of stock; LibremPhone is too expensive for me to play with at $2000.
3   FortwayeAsFuckJoeBiden   2020 Mar 8, 12:12pm  

Fucking google are assholes.
4   Patrick   2021 Dec 31, 10:55am  


Of the 137 patients questioned, 112 said they had been vaccinated, and 25 said they hadn’t been vaccinated. None of the patients who said they hadn’t been vaccinated registered on my cell phone any device available for Bluetooth connection, having ensured the disconnection of their cell phone, if they had one. In 96 patients of the 112 who said they had been vaccinated, 96 of the 112 having switched off their electronic devices if they were carrying them, a MAC code remained on the screen of my cell phone, which I had already noted in my notes next to the patient’s medical history.

I interpreted that it was a code that the patient himself was carrying and that, in fact, when he left the office, leaving the building, it disappeared from my cell phone. With this simple observation throughout July and August, I’ve been able to verify that 100% of the patients who say they aren’t vaccinated don’t raise any contact device with my cell phone via Bluetooth. But 86% of those who said they were vaccinated generated a MAC address on my cell phone. These are the observations made, and many doubts and questions arise from them.”

I find this hard to believe, but at least it's easy to test with a phone.
5   Automan Empire   2021 Dec 31, 11:42am  

I've noticed my text messaging clients start hogging insane amounts of computer resources to the point their dick-simple core function is reduced to spoon-feeding characters out of the keyboard buffer at 1 every 2-3 seconds sometimes. I dumped Yahoo Messenger over this years ago, and Google Voice (which I ONLY use for texting, but can't make the obnoxious keypad go away from half the screen) does this now too. Recently I learned of the about:memory function, and it turns out GOOGLE is the process that hogs computer resources.

I suspect they are stealing user computing resources like an unasked-for SETI@home. Probably churning everything on every part of your computer and reporting tidbits back to the Googleplex. It sucks that every time I walk up to my computer I have to kill a firefox process in task manager (which strangely shows like 15 instances of firefox running when I have 5 tabs open for a few hours) to make this dick-simple texting program function better than a 90s BBS on a dial-up 300 baud modem!

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