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Weird News Google location data turned a random biker into a burglary suspect

18:10  08 march  2020
18:10  08 march  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Zachary McCoy had never been in the home where the burglary occurred, but unwittingly provided information about his whereabouts to Google . A Florida man who used a fitness app to track his bike rides found himself a suspect in a burglary when police used a geofence warrant to collect data from

Location data is a lucrative business — and Google is by far the biggest player, propelled largely by its Android phones. Investigators had his information because he was within 170 feet of a burglary . Reached by a reporter, the man said he was surprised about the release of his data and thought he

a close up of a light © Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

A Florida man who used a fitness app to track his bike rides found himself a suspect in a burglary when police used a geofence warrant to collect data from nearby devices, an NBC News investigation finds. Zachary McCoy had never been in the home where the burglary occurred, but by leaving his location settings on for the RunKeeper app, he unwittingly provided information about his whereabouts to Google, which placed him at the scene of the crime.

Since McCoy had biked past the house where the burglary took place three times on the day of the alleged crime — part of his usual route through the neighborhood — he was deemed a suspect. NBC News says Google’s legal investigations team contacted McCoy in January, notifying him that Gainesville police were demanding information from his Google account.

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Stumped on a burglary , police asked Google for data on anyone who'd been near the crime scene In the notice from Google was a case number. McCoy searched for it on the Gainesville Police Department’s They agreed to dip into their savings to pay for a lawyer. The lawyer, Caleb Kenyon

The demand for Google data , known as a geofence warrant, is a way for law enforcement "It is the digital equivalent of searching every home in the neighborhood of a reported burglary , or searching the bags Prosecutors say that the search was legal because Chatrie had opted into Google 's location

He was eventually cleared as a suspect, but not before hiring a lawyer to help him figure out exactly what data police were seeking. The geofence warrant— a type of search warrant— required Google to provide data from any devices it recorded near the scene of the burglary, including location. This data is usually drawn from Android location services; collection can be turned off from the “accounts” menu in settings.

Law enforcement requests for geofence warrants have risen sharply in the past several years NBC News notes, rising 1500 percent from 2017 to 2018 and another 500 percent between 2018 and 2019. Last year, the New York Times highlighted the 2018 case of Jorge Molina, accused in an Arizona homicide after police used a geofence warrant that suggested he was near the scene of the crime. The case against Molina eventually fell apart as new evidence came to light.

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The FBI is getting creative with how it obtains data from Google . And it has privacy ramifications for all users of Google services. Please help us continue to provide you with free, quality journalism by turning off your ad blocker on our site. For instructions on how to disable your ad blocker, click here.

When you turn off Location History for your Google Account, it's off for all devices associated with that Google Account." That decree has been in the news lately, after the FTC opened a new investigation this spring into whether Facebook's data sharing with Cambridge Analytica violated its 2011 settlement.

Last month, Google announced it was putting new restrictions on which Android apps can track location in the background, with all new Google Play apps that seek background access subject to a review process, beginning in August.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Google building self-check website for coronavirus .
US President Donald Trump announced Friday that internet giant Alphabet is creating a website where people will be able to check whether they have symptoms of the novel coronavirus. "You can go to the website, type in your symptoms and be given direction whether or not a test is indicated," Pence said.Verily Life Sciences, once a project in a Google X lab devoted to "moonshot" projects and now its own health business unit, is testing a "tool to help triage individuals for COVID-19 testing," Google confirmed on Twitter.

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