A series of unearthed documents by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), alarmed the general population in the United States, since it points out that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) used mobile location data to track the movements of people.
In fact, it is not the first time that this data and privacy breach has occurred, since in early 2020, a report from the Wall Street Journal revealed that both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) bought access to the location data of millions of smartphone users to track undocumented immigrants and suspected tax evaders .
Nevertheless, the new documents obtained by the ACLU through an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit now reveal the extent of this warrantless data collection. The more than 6,000 records reviewed by the civil rights organization contained approximately 336,000 location points across North America obtained from people’s phones. They also reveal that in just three days in 2018, CBP obtained records containing around 113,654 location points in the southwestern United States, more than 26 location points per minute.
Spokespeople for Venntel and Homeland Security did not immediately comment on the report.