In January 2020, an alarming email from Google landed in McCoy’s inbox. Police were requesting his user data, the company told him, and McCoy had seven days to go to court and block its release.
McCoy later found out the request was part of an investigation into the burglary of a nearby home the year before. The evidence that cast him as a suspect was his location during his bike ride – information the police obtained from Google through what is called a geofence warrant. For simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, McCoy was being investigated and, as a result, his Google data was at risk of being handed over to the police.
U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Last year, the Brennan Center for Justice requested under California’s freedom of information law, that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) provide records relating to the Department’s “social media monitoring” activities. The request was based on the lack of public “information about the capabilities and limitations of the LAPD’s social media monitoring operations” and its use, including use beyond actual criminal investigations. The request letter noted that as of 2014, the LAPD had approximately 40 employees whose job it was to analyze social media, monitor individuals and groups, and collect online information about them and their activities.