Even ignoring this obvious potential for new abuse, it’s also substantially closer to that dystopian reality of a world where law enforcement is 100% effective, eliminating the possibility to experience alternative ideas that might better suit us.
Often, Google employees said, the company responds to a single warrant with location information on dozens or hundreds of devices. After receiving a warrant, Google gathers location information from its database, Sensorvault, and sends it to investigators, with each device identified by an anonymous ID code.
Photograph: Ariana Drehsler/UPI/Barcroft Images “It means that the debate about immigrants’ rights, about the treatment of immigrants, about the treatment of asylum seekers, is going to be suppressed or censored because the people who are speaking out with a voice that’s critical of the government are going to be singled out for harsher treatment or punished,” Bhandari said.
While many people are enjoying the genealogical research aided by companies such as 23andMe, Ancestry.com , and MyHeritage, they are also unaware that law enforcement is using them as “genetic informants.” In fact, Family Tree DNA has been allowing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to submit suspects’ DNA in order to investigate unsolved violent crimes.
Knowing the Silicon Valley giant held a trove of consumer mobile phone location data, investigators got a Hennepin County judge to sign a "reverse location" search warrant ordering Google to identify the locations of cellphones that had been near the crime scene in Eden Prairie, and near two food markets the victims owned in Minneapolis and St. Paul.