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US Secret Service Bought Location Information From Smartphone Apps

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The US government faces another serious accusation of data breach. This time it is about their secret service, which allegedly paid for location data in order to illegally track down individuals without legal authority or court orders.

According to a report from Motherboard, a Freedom of Information Act inquiry revealed that the intelligence agency paid Babel Street to use Locate X, a service that provides location data from popular smartphone applications. Although the document did not clearly state the exact purpose of the tool used by the intelligence agency, it was reported that it was used to build a virtual fence around a region and track devices in that area.

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The contract with Locate X ran from September 2018 to September 2018 and had a transaction value of USD 2 million. It is speculated that the service was only used for a few cases, but probably only for one. It is currently unknown where Babel Street gets its data from and to whom it is sold. Neither Babel nor the secret service has yet commented on the matter.

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