The data broker knows where you are-and wants to sell Intel

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Finally In July, a Catholic priest Resign From the church, after the Catholic news site The Pillar expelled him Purchase Location data from the data broker regarding his use of Grindr. The incident not only illustrates how people use Grindr data to fight against members of the LGBTQ community.It also emphasizes The huge, shady, and unregulated data brokerage industry Sell ​​the real-time location of Americans to the highest bidder.

In a new Report In the Internet Policy Project of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, I investigated 10 major data brokers and the sensitive data they promoted. They publicly and clearly disclose personal demographic characteristics (from race to gender to income level) and political preferences and beliefs (including support for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and the National LGBTQ Working Group) And the data and military personnel of the current US government. Several of these companies also sell another disturbing product: the geographic location of Americans.

Acxiom, one of the largest brokers Billions of data People all over the world, Advertise Personal “location-based device data”. Need to know if someone has visited a place multiple times in the past 30 days, such as a church, a therapist’s office, or a former house?According to one company, they have already provided you with protection Marketing documents. What about other insights based on personal location?According to a report in 2018, view the data of the marketing company NinthDecimal Fact sheet, Acxiom’s “partners” that provide “mobile device location and location contextual insights”. Acxiom says that military personnel can also be targeted: it Provide “Verify and locate military personnel (deployed but missing at the base)” as part of the commercial work of credit card issuers and retail banks.

LexisNexis, another behemoth, Advertise The ability to “determine a person’s current whereabouts” using the most recent driver’s license record.Experian Advertise Move location data. Oracle has significantly shifted to the data brokerage business in the past decade, Advertise Marketing services based on the user’s real-time location. In 2019, Oracle partnered with location data provider Bluedot (one of many such partners), which Claim Its data will provide a twenty-fold improvement in pinpointing individual locations. Among other factors, Bluedot claims to be able to track the number of times an individual visits a certain place and how long they spend there.A few years ago, Oracle Add PlaceIQ to its data market, the company then has “from 475 million location points, 100 million unique users, and more than 10 billion location-enabled device movements every day.”

Of course, there are people search or “white pages” sites that allow Internet users to search for anyone’s data by entering their name. These data brokers collect property records, tax declarations, voting records, etc., aggregate government and other publicly available documents, and make them publicly searchable, with only a small fee or no fees. Although they do not publish the real-time geographic location of individuals, they do provide relatively up-to-date information about where people live.

Perhaps none of this is surprising-the data breach following the data privacy scandal highlights the close attention private companies pay to Americans’ daily lives. No matter how much these companies want to normalize their surveillance, as small as the sidewalk you are standing on or the restaurant you are in, we must not forget that data brokers selling these location data threaten civil rights, national security, and democracy.

In terms of civil rights, federal agencies from the FBI to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service buy data from data brokers—without authorization, public disclosure, or strong supervision— Carry Go out Everything From criminal investigation to deportation. In doing so, the data broker bypasses the company’s restriction of directly handing over the data to law enforcement agencies (for example, a cellular company can sell user data to a data broker, and the data broker can then sell the data to the FBI). Federal government agencies that use this data may also circumvent various legal restrictions surrounding searches and seizures and federal controls that do not apply to “open source” or “commercially obtained” data, even if the data are individuals in the United States.



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