Google provides police with user info based on search terms

Its fair to assume that Facebook sells pictures of its users and associated meta data, including names and relationships to law enforcement.

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Logging out might not help you if your browser has a unique fingerprint, because then it can still be connected to a previous or subsequent login in that browser. You can test that here:

Brave us a browser that protects you by randomizing the fingerprint and it also blocks ads and trackers.

And stop using Google for searching the web. Better alternatives exist.


The story that really made me sit up was reading about someone who found out the local police were trying to get ahold of all his Google data - his search history, his email, his physical location data (because he had an Android phone), etc. Come to find out, it was because his phone had been flagged as passing through the general area of a neighborhood where there had been a burglary. That was it. The cops wanted to know the identity of everyone in the vicinity and all his data was going to be a casualty of that. That made me really nervous.


yeah, bad. Do you have a link?

Google yielded the suspect’s IP address, and the cops figured out the rest.

Nope, google yielded a list of people, who immediately became suspects. To me, that’s a very important distinction.

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Holy Fuck this is dystopian. I have heard plenty of cases where search history was pulled from seized computers, but never from private cloud records.

I have my google account set to not store any search history but that does not provide much comfort.

If warrants based on search terms are remotely similar to geofence warrants, then police actually do have broad, direct and ongoing access to that data: For one single warrant they would sometimes provided data about 1500 individual devices, with 180 warrants per week in 2019. The number of warrants has increased 1500% in 2018, and 500% in 2019. ([more about geofence warrants)[])

I’m afraid that is exactly what is happening here, and this data leads to all kinds of wrongful arrests.

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