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Edina Police Search Warrant Prompts Digital Privacy Concerns

March 18, 2017 02:45 PM

An investigation into alleged wire fraud is prompting digital privacy concerns in Edina.

A search warrant from the Edina Police Department obtained by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS is part of an investigation to determine who allegedly swindled an Edina resident out of tens of thousands of dollars.

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The broad information request is sparking some big privacy concerns as police seek information on everyone who made a specific Google search.

The warrant is meant to identify everyone who Googled a specific Edina resident’s full name over a 38-day period.

Detectives say they believe that information will point them to the thief who stole more than $28,000 from that particular Edina resident.

The complicated investigation stems from the fact the Edina police believe someone used the victim's name, date of birth, social security number and a forged passport to illegally wire the money.

That fake passport included an incorrect photo only attainable by searching the victim's name in Google images. No other search engine allegedly reveals it.

The warrant accuses the suspect of transferring the victim's line of credit into the victim's savings account before the money was wired away.

The search warrant was issued by a Hennepin County district judge on Feb 1.

However, before that, Google rejected an administrative subpoena for the search data.

It's unknown just how far Google is willing to go to resist this warrant; however, industry experts have voiced some concerns about the legal precedent.

Credits

Rebecca Omastiak & Tyler Berg

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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