Google’s Sensorvault: A boon for law enforcement. How it works.

Source: Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, N.Y.Times (Paid Registration)

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.

The Sensorvault database is connected to a Google service called Location History. The feature, begun in 2009, involves Android and Apple devices.

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