If Google is smart, it will invite Belgian businessman Sander Cokelaere to its next Google I/O conference to attest to the power of Google’s mobile app ecosystem. As The Independent reports, Cokelaere was kidnapped recently by a British man named John Clarke Spence, who held Cokelaere for ransom and demanded tens of thousands of pounds from his boss in exchange for his release. What Spence didn’t count on, however, was the power of Google in Cokelaere’s pocket.
It turns out Cokelaere had cleverly stashed his smartphone away in his sock where Spence never looked for it. Without Spence’s knowledge, he was able to Google his whereabouts and then send a photo of his location to his boss, who promptly alerted authorities. What’s even more impressive is that Cokelaere was able to perform this feat while he was chained to a tree.
The kidnapping victim was subsequently rescued while Spence this week was sentenced to eight years in prison. At the very least, this story shows that Google’s original motto of “don’t be evil” has some merit in cases where the evildoers aren’t aware of the technologies their would-be victims have at their disposal.