If you don’t understand just how much data big tech has on you — and what it can be used for — consider the case of Zachary McCoy.
According to NBC News, Google was taken to court by the Gainesville, Florida, police and was going to turn over all of McCoy’s data to them if he didn’t go to court. The 30-year-old restaurant worker received this news out of the blue through email. The email said he had seven days before the data was released and offered only one clue to go on: a case number that dealt with a burglary at a 97-year-old woman’s house nearly a year earlier.
The Gainesville Police Department had zeroed in on McCoy because they’d obtained what’s known as a “geofence warrant,” which NBC described as “a police surveillance tool that casts a virtual dragnet over crime scenes, sweeping up Google location data — drawn from users’ GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular connections