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

By Patrick follow Patrick   2020 Mar 8, 11:05am 401 views   3 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share

“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.”
1   Ceffer   ignore (6)   2020 Mar 8, 11:13am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

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   ignore (3)   2020 Mar 8, 11:24am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

PinePhone is still out of stock; LibremPhone is too expensive for me to play with at $2000.
3   Fortwaynemobile   ignore (3)   2020 Mar 8, 12:12pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Fucking google are assholes.

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