Geofence Warrants Touch An All Time High As Law Enforcement Agencies Keep On Asking Google For Users Data

Google as the tech giant has he data of a majority of the global consumers, which makes Google one of the most important sources for data provision leading towards the idea that if effectively used, can be the difference maker in cases where law enforcement agencies are involved.

Geofences are defined as digital areas demarcating physical location between signal transponders that receive data from the mobile phones. The warrants issued by law enforcement agencies to collect data from geofences are reflective of the necessity to identify the location of individuals involved in the case with maximum accuracy as mobile phone devices are nowadays the norm to be carried with.

Under the latest transparency report, Google had to publish the details and the numbers that include from 2018 to 2021, including the US and global data. Even though the Geofence warrants started in 2016, there is still no numbers until 2018, where the first year’s number was just 982 warrants issued. The number increased over the next year by almost 1000% percent, reaching 8396 warrants in 2019. The number increased a little over the COVID heavy year 2020 to around 11,554 warrants reaching a total of 21000 warrants over three years. These figured were reported by Google and highlighted by several media outlets giving insight over these figures and their consequences.

With questions in regards to the privacy of users being infringed here, the Google Spokesperson released a statement highlighting that the privacy of Google’s valuable users are protected while Google moves forward to support the law enforcement agencies and providing ease of access to their job.

The report and the details were published as a result of the scrutiny against the tech giants across the United States as there were several issues in regards to the privacy and handling of users’ sensitive information. Google faced too much heat as a result of the New York Times article that highlighted the existence of a sensor vault that contains all the information of users ranging from their first login to their very last activity. It was found out that this information while encrypted, is used to provide better results for the ad campaigns that are run over as the most prominent source of their income. Therefore, Google released transparency reports that provide better information to the users and options to allow the company to track their information for data.

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