Criminals beware! Apparently the newest way to track someone running from the law is their usage on Internet websites or streaming services like Netflix. These sites and services not only inform people of your viewing habits, they also have your personal information stored.
Brittany Nunn of Larimer County, Colorado just made the unfortunate mistake of finding this out the hard way. She ran away with husband, Peter Barr, and her two daughters. The girls, ages 4 and 6, were part of a custody dispute, and while Nunn had not lost them yet, things weren’t going well, and she was on the verge of doing so.
They made it all the way to Mexico, but she needed some new music one day (they can catch you on Spotify, too) and that was all she wrote.
Drew Weber from the Larimer County Sherriff’s Office finally was able to get a search warrant after seven months to look through Nunn’s Spotify and Netflix accounts, which led him to her IP address, which was located in Mexico. He was also able to use information about a package that had been shipped to Nunn, headed for Cabo San Lucas.
Investigators bided their time, investigating the habits of Nunn, Barr and the children for months, before finally arresting Nunn and Barr in Cabo San Lucas. Mexican immigration authorities were on hand to handle the arrest of the adults and they later deported them to the United States. They are not facing felony counts of custody violation. The girls were sent home to their fathers.
Neither Netflix nor Spotify has officially commented on these types of investigations, but if a search warrant was used, and it was, they would have had to supply the necessary information. This does not mean they would hand over your information freely. It would only happen if the police had just cause to think you were doing something wrong.
So, if you’re a criminal, maybe it’s best for you to skip that binge-session of The Gilmore Girls. You might end up paying for it later.