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“Reverse Location” Search Warrants Trouble Privacy Advocates and Defense Attorneys

By February 8, 2019 No Comments

“Reverse location” search warrants and police searches are on the rise in Minneapolis-St. Paul and nationally, reported MPR News this week. This type of warrant has Google “identify the locations of cellphones that had been near [crime scenes].” The scope of one such warrant signed by a Minnesota judge last fall “was so expansive in time and geography that it had the potential to gather data on tens of thousands of Minnesotans.” Though police say “the process has been crafted to preserve privacy,” an ACLU spokesperson explained that it can still “scoop up completely innocent people who are in an area for legitimate reasons, and who should not be treated as suspects.”