Investigators Are Using Google to Help Them Solve Crime.

Google Location Records Are Precise Enough To Place A Suspect At The Scene Of A Crime.

In a recent article by Russell Brandom at The Verge, he discusses why Advertisers aren’t the only ones interested in Google’s location data these days. When investigators recently went to ID Timothy Graham, a convicted bank robber, for a second unsolved offense they thought their trail was going cold until they employed a little trick called, “Google.” The FBI looked to Google for GPS data, cell site information and Wi-Fi access points on Graham’s Samsung Galaxy S5 to help close the case. Since Google’s policy is to comply with lawful warrants for location data, this isn’t the first case where the police have looked to Google and it likely won’t be the last.

How does it work? Every time your phone establishes a strong enough location point there’s an entry placed in Google’s Timeline. Similar to Facebook, Google photos are also timestamped into the stream when the system is fully integrated, creating a historical timeline of everywhere you’ve been. The result is data that is far more accurate than any other wireless location tracking device, and law enforcement are taking notice.

In November, The Intercept reported a recently discovered Police manual explaining how to issue preservation orders and manage Google location files. You may think twice about hitting “allow” next time Google asks for your location. Learn more about location settings.

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Do you have a matter that requires forensic examination of a location-equipped tracking device? Cornerstone Discovery specializes in the preservation, analysis, reporting and expert witness testimony of all things mobile. Contact Our Certified Digital Forensic and E-Discovery Experts at Cornerstone Discovery today.

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