It’s no secret that Google tracks you everywhere, even when you keep Google’s Location History feature disabled.
As revealed by an Associated Press investigation in 2018, other Google apps like Maps or daily weather update service on Android allows the tech giant to continuously collect your precise latitude and longitude.
According to Google, the company uses this location-tracking features with an intent to improve its users’ experience, like “personalised maps, recommendations based on places you’ve visited, help finding your phone, real-time traffic updates about your commute, and more useful ads.”
Moreover, it’s also known that Google could share your location data with federal authorities in criminal investigations when asked with a warrant.
Google ‘SensorVault’ Database Help Police Solve Crimes
But what many people weren’t aware of is that Google also helps federal authorities identify suspects of crimes by sharing location history of all devices that passed through crime scenes over a certain time period.
It should be noted Google doesn’t share personal information of all nearby users; instead, it asks the police to first analyse location history of all users and narrows down results to only a few selected users to receive their names, email addresses, and other personal data from Google.
A new in-depth report from The New York Times revealed that Google maintains a database, known internally as Sensorvault, over nearly the past decade, containing detailed location records from hundreds of millions of phones around the world, and shares with authorities nationwide with warrants to mine it to help in criminal cases.
According to several unnamed Google employees cited in the report, such requests to dive into Google’s Sensorvault database have spiked in the last six months, with the company receiving as many as 180 requests in just one week.
images from Hacker News