Rights advocates fear police violating privacy with advancing technologies
Investigators used Facebook photos to nab a Detroit man accused in a spree of bank robberies.
A Southfield doctor suspected of a prescription drug scam was caught after officers put a GPS on her minivan and tracked her activities.
When three brothers from Morenci went missing, investigators collected information from a cell phone belonging to their father — who has been charged in their disappearance — and determined some of his travel habits, leading to search efforts in Williams County, Ohio.
Those are just a few of the recent examples of how law enforcement is using technology to monitor the activities of suspects and solve cases. Investigators are mining social networking sites and e-mails, placing tracking devices on vehicles and purchasing sophisticated technology of their own — like devices that can extract information from cell phones. And with many cell phones now more characteristic of computers than basic talk-and-text phones, there’s plenty of information to be found.
Privacy-rights advocates, though, worry about constitutional violations and say laws aren’t keeping pace with changing technology.
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You let facebook and twitter know where and what you’re doing but does it bother you that the police can track you using these tools? Five years ago the thought seemed outlandish but now it’s becoming common place.
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