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15 Dez 2020

Sales of cellphone app data to US govt. agencies raise privacy & usage concerns

The sale of location and other data pulled from ordinary apps on millions of cellphones to US immigration and military agencies has raised privacy and surveillance concerns among users, trade groups, and politicians.

Reporting on a growing trade in mobile location data shows how user data are collected from apps including a Muslim prayer and Quran app that has more than 98 million downloads worldwide, a Muslim dating app, a popular Craigslist app, and an app for following storms. Users and app developers report not always being aware of the transmission of sensitive user data to external data brokers, who then package and sell on these data to buyers including US defense contractors and government agencies, where little is know about how the data are used.

Following coverage of this practice in 2020, senators have asked the Department of Homeland Security for more information on how such data are used, and the American Civil Liberties Union has begun a lawsuit against DHS, US Customs and Border Protection and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to force the agencies to release records about purchasing cellphone location data for immigration enforcement and other purposes.

We invited responses from data brokers Venntel and Babel Street, app developer Muslim Pro (owned by Bitsmedia), and defense contractors Systems & Technology Research and Sierra Nevada Corporation. An article includes comments from data broker X-Mode.


Muslim Pro (owned by Bitsmedia) Antwort anzeigen
Babel Street

Keine Antwort

Sierra Nevada Corporation

Keine Antwort

Systems & Technology Research

Keine Antwort


Keine Antwort