Eight Million Times in One Year

A little reality check for those worried about Google Latitude and the like: in the U.S., your mobile phone location data is already available to law enforcement. At ISS World, it was revealed that Sprint Nextel, with 50 million customers, received a total of eight million law enforcement requests for their customers’ GPS location data in the space of one year — and they built a special web interface to process the requests. Not only that, it turns out that this sort of data request doesn’t meet the threshold for a warrant. To be sure, Sprint has clarified that this represents eight million pings, not eight million customers, but I can’t see how this doesn’t sound just a little bit ominous. On the other hand, it’s not like we don’t see this happening all the time on an episode of NCIS. Engadget, Slashdot.

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