Civil Liberty Advocates Call For End To Police Using Google Search Data To Solve Criminal Cases

A leading number of advocates known for promoting civil liberty are raising their voices against law enforcement authorities and their use of technology to do their jobs correctly.

To be more specific on this front, they are slamming the cops for making use of Google’s search data to try and find leading solutions for criminal cases. And the news comes at a time when the behavior has always been under scrutiny with tech giants being helpless in this matter.

The scrutiny against such policies has been a subject of great debate in recent times and seeing such reports arise in the US is proof of how the subject needs more attention in the limelight for change to arise.

In the year 2016, many were shocked when a young woman was assaulted in Pennsylvania and for that reason, cops issued search warrants in Google’s direction to find more data about those typing the victim’s name as well as address inside search engines. This was just one week into the attack as per reports filed inside court papers.

Such breakthroughs led to the cops further stepping up the investigation against culprits known to be found guilty in the act. Tech giant Google generated a response on this front including IP addresses of users that looked for the victim’s address right before the tragedy ensued. This again was proved by court statements filed and showed how the cops managed to find the perpetrator of the crime, arrest him, and convict him of the terrifying act.

But now, a group of civil liberty advocates are having their say in Pennsylvania, putting out their perspectives on this front and how the means used by the cops to carry out keyword search warrants to crack cases is just uncalled for, not to mention the danger attached and how it compromises the security and privacy of innocent users.

They dubbed the act as a digital dragnet while giving the government permission to scan through private data and call out such acts as unconstitutional.

For now, Google’s legal team is yet to comment on the subject which has been debatable for quite some time now. While the number of examples of this behavior being documented is not a lot right now, it’s definitely a practice that has been called out in the past and is similarly being done today.

It seems to be scrutinized more now than ever before, in light of the decision from the US Court of law in terms of a decision that overturned the abortion law.

Meanwhile, privacy advocates continually issue warnings that such acts by the cops in which they force search engine owners to lay down data about crime scenes could end up prosecuting females who gain abortions in places where it is deemed illegal.
Then in October of last year, another case arose that raised eyebrows. This had to do with keyword search warrants for murder crimes that sparked a major debate in terms of how it might encourage the cops to use this technique more often.

In terms of the court’s ruling, they said the findings were justified and that no other action was taken, other than that which went against the law. Meanwhile, no comments were published in terms of Google’s behavior and whether or not it should carry on helping law enforcement agencies to do their jobs correctly.

In case you didn’t know, it’s a matter that’s of great debate and one that won’t come easy, as many stakeholders seem to be involved and to whom answers must to produced.

Controversy surrounds cops' reliance on keyword search warrants, raising constitutional and privacy issues, prompting ongoing debate.
Photo: Digital Information World - AIgen

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