Google SensorVault – All Eyez on Me
Google SensorVault, what is it?
SensorVault is the name of an internal google database that contains users’ historical geo-location data. The SensorVault database collects detailed location records from millions of phones across the globe. Google claims the information is collected for advertising purposes, yet law enforcement has found a different purpose for the information.
How & Why does law enforcement use it?
Law enforcement can tap into location data from a device by obtaining a “geofence warrant.” A geofence is a virtual geographic boundary defined by GPS technology, which enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area. Investigators and police can then use this information to track the whereabouts of a given device. Such information has been used by law enforcement to search for all devices within the vicinity of a crime. This can be essential in establishing a defendant’s location, a necessary element of many crimes.
How & Why it can be helpful for criminal defense attorneys like us?
While law enforcement uses SensorVault data to assist them in proving location, the same data can help people who are arrested by corroborating their alibies and enhancing their defense strategies. If you are accused of a crime, location data collected from your device by Google can be an invaluable tool in proving your innocence.