If you watch much Court TV, you know that it’s not uncommon anymore for police to seize an accused’s computer and use information obtained from the hard drive against the accused. But the hard drive is not the only repository of information concerning the computer user’s activities. I just read this excerpt written by Greg Beck in the Consumer Law & Policy Blog:
Now, I consider myself the epitome of the law-abiding citizen. But this information makes me go “Hmmmmm?” Even if I do some searches on my computer that I wouldn’t want at least certain other people to know about, I suppose I probably don’t have anything to worry about as long as I don’t become a criminal defendant.
Hmmmmm. I wonder if I could ever get information from Google via subpoena? What if I represented a consumer who allegedly bought a flood-damaged vehicle from a dealership. I subpoena all searches conducted by the dealership’s computers through the Google search engine. I suspect Google would fight the subpoena tooth and nail, but who knows? What if the results revealed that someone from the dealership did a search like: “how to avoid a salvage title?” Hmmmmm.