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How Your Own Smartphone Can Rat You Out to The Cops! (Pt 2)

A woman sitting at a counter in a coffee shop looking at something on  her phone while she drinks a cup of coffee.
We use our smartphones for everything these days and from everywhere. But have you ever stopped to think about what that means?

Hi there and welcome back from The Kronzek Firm. We’ve been talking about the incredible amount of data your smartphone collects and stores about you – your preferences, your conversations, your search history, and even your geolocational data. Wait, what was that last one? Your geo-what? That’s right – your geolocational data, which is the information your phone collects about where it is located at any given time. In essence, it’s the “where and when” information that your phone keeps track of at all times.

U.S. law mandates that all every smartphone tracks their own locations and broadcast that data in a continuously updating stream. It’s not a perfect science (the law only requires that your phone be accurate to within 30 feet of your exact location), but it’s accurate enough that the cops can tell where you’ve been and when you were there, as long as you had your phone with you at the time. If you tell the police you were in Monroe County but your cell phone says you were in Tuscola County, you’re busted! Or maybe you think that just because you have your location setting turned off when you were in Midland County nobody would ever know you were there. Wrong again!

Do you have any control over what data your smartphone collects?

There are certainly some things you can control when it comes to your smartphone. Apps are required to ask your permission to access your data before you install them. Although to be honest, most people just hit the “Allow” button without actually reading the fine print, so they have no idea what permissions they’re actually granting. (And you’d be amazed at how much data you’re permitting apps to harvest from your phone, including voice recordings and even photos!). But what about your geolocation data?

Even if you’ve disabled geolocation tracking on your smartphone, and changed the settings so that your phone doesn’t share location information with other apps, it doesn’t matter. You may not be able to see that info, and other apps might not be able to access it, but the law requires that your phone continue to collect and broadcast it, despite your settings. So essentially, no matter what you say, your smartphone is always aware of where it is in space and time, and it’s always making that information available to whoever can access that data (like the cops.) 

You need a tech-savvy defense attorney who knows what you’re up against!

Because so much evidence used in criminal cases these days is tech-based, the defense attorney you choose needs to be up-to-date on all of that. They’ll need access to expert witnesses who can use data to support your claims of innocence, or refute the prosecution’s claims based on the data they have access to. Your phone might be able to place you in the vicinity of a crime, but it isn’t always accurate enough to put you right there – at the scene. So understanding exactly how to work with the available information is critical!

Hiring a highly rated and aggressive criminal defense attorney needs to be your first move when you’ve been accused of a crime in the lower peninsula of Michigan. You can even call us ahead of time, before your arrest if you suspect that the cops are trying to build a case against you. We know how to make the most of any evidence that defends you, and how to argue against evidence that doesn’t. We work tirelessly to give each and every client the best possible defense. So if you need legal help, call 866 766 5245 right now, night or day, and make sure your defense team is top-notch. We can be reached at 1 866 7NoJail 24 / 7 for emergency help. 

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