Whatever device you are reading this on is probably tracking tons of data about you right now, including your geographic location. The New York Times broke down how law enforcement has been using what Google calls its SensorVault. Here’s how the article starts:
Law enforcement officials across the country have been seeking information from a Google database called Sensorvault — a trove of detailed location records involving at least hundreds of millions of devices worldwide, The New York Times found.
Though the new technique can identify suspects near crimes, it runs the risk of sweeping up innocent bystanders, highlighting the impact that companies’ mass collection of data can have on people’s lives.
It should raise awareness–if not eyebrows–about the increasingly complex relationship between the languages of software and the liberties of society.