U.S. police agencies illegally track people’s phones: report

Privacy advocates voiced concern that it violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

U.S. police agencies, without search warrants, have been using an obscure cellphone tracking tool to follow people’s movements, a U.S. media outlet has reported.

According to public records and internal emails obtained by The Associated Press, police have used “Fog Reveal” to search hundreds of billions of records from 250 million mobile devices, and harnessed the data to create location analyses known among law enforcement as “patterns of life.”

The application, sold by Virginia-based Fog Data Science LLC, has been used to follow the devices through their advertising IDs and unique numbers assigned to each device, which can be traced to users’ homes and workplaces to help police establish pattern-of-life analyses, according to the report earlier this month.


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