Controversial Issues in Criminal Justice.
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In March 2019, a ninety-seven-year-old woman reported to the Gainesville Police Department that jewelry was missing from her house. With no leads, the police got a warrant from a judge for Google. The warrant—called a geofence warrant—demanded records of all devices using Google services that had been near the woman’s home when the burglary was thought to have occurred.
After reviewing these records, the police became interested in one man, as the data showed that he had been near the woman’s house three times in an hour. The man, however, was an avid biker and had enabled Google’s location services to track his bike rides in an app. The man was forced to hire an attorney, who told the police that they had the wrong person, as the man had merely been on a bike ride in that area when the burglary was thought to have occurred.
Based on this information, the police eliminated the man as a suspect.
New technology, like geofence warrants, can help solve crimes; however, as this case illustrates, they can also turn innocent people into suspects, upending their lives in the process. According to NBC News, requests from state and federal law-enforcement authorities for Google geofence warrants increased by more than 1,500% from 2017 to 2018 and by 500% from 2018 to 2019.
Throughout our country’s history, we have struggled to maintain a balance between public safety and personal privacy. For this discussion, you will decide where you fall on the public safety-personal liberty continuum.
Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:
Evaluate the delicate balance between public safety and personal privacy.
1. Read Issue 16: Expectations of Privacy in the textbook, Controversial Issues in Criminal Justice.
2. In a minimum 250-word initial post, respond to the following discussion questions:
a. Summarize the competing arguments presented in the textbook on this topic. b. Cite at least two statistics, research findings, or examples for each argument. You may use the textbook or other resources if they are trusted and reliable. Websites ending in .gov or .edu are trusted and reliable; Wikipedia is not. c. Indicate which argument you believe is best and explain why.