How to buy, use and track your furry friends.
This week on Recode, Recode’s Kara Swisher explores how to use your smartphone to catch your furry pals.
Read moreRead moreThe FBI is using technology that allows the agency to identify, track and trace the movements of a pet.
The FBI’s mobile-tracking devices are the result of a 2010 FBI policy that required agents to use technology to detect the movements and locations of suspects.
This policy allowed agents to get into the home and conduct surveillance without a warrant.
“This is an amazing capability that allows us to do so many things,” the FBI’s acting deputy director for technology and technology policy, Matt Sledge, told Recode.
Sledge said the technology can be used to track a person’s movements as well as the whereabouts of pets.
He said this type of tracking can be done on a wide variety of devices including phones, cameras, wearable devices, smart TVs and cameras in cars.
According to the FBI, the technology is called “predictive analytics.”
The FBI says predictive analytics is used to identify a person and their vehicle and to determine if the person is armed or a threat to themselves or others.
The technology can track the movements, location and identity of a person from their phone’s location, to their home address, to the time and date of their activity, to how long they’ve been there, the type of vehicle they drive, how long ago they parked their vehicle, their social media accounts, their mobile phone location and even their facial recognition software.
Recode’s Andrew Kaczynski talked with Sledge about the FBI tracking devices and how they can be useful to the agency.
The agency has been using these tracking devices to track suspects since 2010.
Schell explained that the FBI has used these devices to find and arrest people that have committed crimes.
He explained that this tracking can include the location and behavior of a suspect as well.
“We can track those locations and we can track that behavior in ways that are not very practical,” Sledge said.
“We can’t do that at the speed that we do with other tracking techniques, but it’s a great tool that allows you to do it at a very high level.”
Recode also spoke with former FBI agent Mark Thompson, who worked in the Bureau’s cybercrime unit from 2008 to 2012.
Thompson explained how he used predictive analytics to identify suspected hackers.
Thompson said the FBI uses predictive analytics in its cybercrime investigations to track down people suspected of being involved in cyber crime.
He added that the information that the bureau gets from predictive analytics helps the bureau understand the activities of a specific individual and then it can use that information to identify them.
“The predictive analytics allows us very quickly and efficiently identify individuals who have committed criminal activity,” Thompson said.
Thompson told Recodes that predictive analytics can be particularly helpful in identifying people who are at high risk for cybercrime.
“It allows us as a law enforcement agency to be able to pinpoint individuals in this area, who are suspected of having committed crimes and then we can use their information to help us track them down,” Thompson explained.
Thompson, who now works for a startup called G-Force, said that the predictive analytics could also be used for more traditional crimes, such as stalking and child exploitation.
“Prediction analytics can provide us with very accurate information about who a particular person is and where they are,” Thompson told Recoding.
“That information can be extremely useful in identifying potential threats to our nation, but in this case it’s also useful in tracking down individuals who are criminals.”
Recodes also spoke to a number of privacy experts, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Marcia Hofmann, who said that predictive technology is a tool that should be used sparingly.
“There’s absolutely no way to know that the software that the government is using is actually helping us in any meaningful way,” Hofmann said.
Hofmann said that it’s important to note that the tracking devices used by the FBI are not the same as those used by Google and Facebook.
“What these devices do is allow us to see the activity of a user who is engaged in an activity that’s outside of the scope of their normal use,” Hofman explained.
“The use of these tracking techniques is just one tool in a larger toolkit that allows law enforcement to track people who they suspect are engaged in criminal activity.”
“I think the FBI needs to be careful about using this technology,” Hofmansaid.
“They should be using it for what they want to use it for, not what they’re going to use.”