There are a lot of attorneys up-in-arms over the fact that “Google knows everything.” In particular, I guess (because I didn’t attend) one of the discussions during a recent conference was over privacy, encryption, and the latest “user beware” buzzword. I’ve seen a number of attendees post stories about how Google knows your location.

location history

For this blog’s faithful devotees, this isn’t really news. In fact, I’m quite vocal about the fact that Google probably knows more about me than I know about me. And that’s okay.

I’ve discussed location sharing several times, warning of the dangers, advising you to be on guard about apps, and even showing how to shut location sharing off.

Honestly, if you didn’t know that your device, carrier, or manufacturer, implemented ways to track your movements . . . Well, I guess now you do. Yes, everyone’s doing it.

You need to learn about location sharing for your mobile device, then make a decision as to whether you want to participate. Bob Ambrogi has a good point for lawyers to remember:

This data is also evidence — evidence that could be used against your client or that your client could use against others. If it is stored somewhere, it is subject to subpoena. So don’t forget that Google and Apple and the cell carrier all may have tracking data relevant to your case.

Now, when you’re defending that stalking case, remember to ask for geolocation data from the opposing party’s cell phone or mobile devices. Google’s location history tool allows you to export the data as a KML file or view the information with timestamps.

If you’re really concerned, you can also delete all of your personal tracking information.

location history options

And don’t forget, this is the stuff the cops are looking at when your client’s saying he/she wasn’t at the location. You might be wise to sneak a peek at the information (you can log into your client’s Google account using incognito mode) during your first meeting.


Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.

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