The New York TimesThe New York Times

Tracking Phones, Google Is a Dragnet for the Police

By Jennifer Valentino-DeVries

13 Apr 2019 · 1 min read

When detectives in a Phoenix suburb arrested a warehouse worker in a homicide investigation last December, they credited a new technique with breaking open the case after other leads went cold.

The police told the suspect, Jorge Molina, they had data tracking his phone to the site where a man was shot nine months earlier. They had made the discovery after obtaining a search warrant that required Google to provide information on all devices it recorded near the killing, potentially capturing the whereabouts of anyone in the area.

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