If you’ve ever agreed to allow an app to use your location, your data is potentially being employed by the Trump administration for immigration enforcement. The Wall Street Journal reports the Trump administration has purchased commercial access to a database that maps the movements of millions of cellphones in the U.S. and elsewhere—and it’s being used to detect undocumented immigrants and other people who might be entering the U.S. unlawfully. The data is reportedly gathered from seemingly innocent apps—including those for games, weather, and e-commerce—if the user has granted permission. The data has reportedly been used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] to identify immigrants who were later arrested, and Customs and Border Protection [CBP] has used it to find activity in odd places such as remote stretches of desert near the Mexican border. “This is a classic situation where creeping commercial surveillance in the private sector is now bleeding directly over into government,” said Alan Butler, general counsel of the think tank Electronic Privacy Information Center.
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