Day: September 11, 2020

What are geofence warrants?

Zachary McCoy went for a bike ride on a Friday in March 2019. The avid biker would do loops around his Gainesville, Fla., neighborhood and track his rides with a fitness app on his Android phone. McCoy didn’t think anything unusual had happened that day. But months later, in January of this year, McCoy got an email from Google saying that his data was going to be released to local police. He’d become a potential suspect in a local burglary—and had no idea why.

“There was absolutely nothing that tied Zack to this at all, other than Google saying he was there on the street,” McCoy’s lawyer, Caleb Kenyon, said.

Police pegged McCoy as a potential suspect without security camera footage, eye-witness accounts, or any sort of forensic evidence because his device had shown up as near the burglary site. The Gainesville Police Department had gotten something called a geofence

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