From last Saturday's New York Times (all emphasis mine):
When detectives in a Phoenix suburb arrested a warehouse worker in a murder investigation last December, they credited a new technique with breaking open the case after other leads went cold.
The police told the suspect, Jorge Molina, they had data tracking his phone to the site where a man was shot nine months earlier. They had made the discovery after obtaining a search warrant that required Google to provide information on all devices it recorded near the killing, potentially capturing the whereabouts of anyone in the area.
The Arizona case demonstrates the promise and perils of the new investigative technique, whose use has risen sharply in the past six months, according to Google employees familiar with the requests.
Then this quote caught my attention:
Law enforcement officials described the method as exciting, but cautioned that it was just one tool.
"Exciting?" That's very telling IMO.
To me it suggests that the people developing this shit are utterly tone-deaf as to the impact these 'exciting' new tools have on the lives of actual people, nor the Constitutional/privacy/personal freedom issues they raise. They're just geeks geeking out on coming up with code that works, apparently, and to hell with trifles like legality or privacy.
But hey, at least we're being assured that this egregious violation of our civil rights is not the only tool in their box! What a relief!
And the tone-deafness continues, making me think these people live in an alternate Universe that's been somehow isolated from the one that the rest of us live in where becoming more intrusive and invasive than even Orwell's Big Brother is considered 'exciting' rather than evil and in opposition to those romanticized American 'values' that are talked about a lot but not really taken seriously, apparently.
And in case anyone missed it, the article details how this "exciting" new tool initially resulted in the arrest of the wrong person.
Now tell me again how that is an improvement over old-school policing? "Sorry about that week you spent in jail by mistake, hope you still got a job and maybe next time you'll be more careful where you carry your phone!"
This insanity means that we're going to have to be careful to not be anywhere that any crimes are committed by anyone, among other concerns. Which is patently absurd, but fortunately the total-surveillance paradigm is inherently doomed thanks to the nature of how it works, so all we need is a bit of patience for the next enormous and inevitable solar flare.
Until then, if you keep wearing your tracking collar...uh, I mean 'using your smart phone' without taking any measures to protect yourself and shit like happened to Jorge Molina (see article) happens to you then you can't say you weren't warned.
Additional article about the Google "Sensorvault" database: https://www.nytimes....n-tracking.html