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Tag Archives for " location data "

Secret Service Bought Phone Location Data from Apps, Contract Confirms

An internal Secret Service document describes the purchase of Locate X, a product that uses location data harvested from ordinary apps.

The sale highlights the issue of law enforcement agencies buying information, and in particular location data, that they would ordinarily need a warrant or court order to obtain. This contract relates to the sale of Locate X, a product from a company called Babel Street.

Source: Secret Service Bought Phone Location Data from Apps, Contract Confirms

How Smartphone Location Tracking Works, and What You Can Do About It 

Smartphone location data, often used by marketers, has been useful for studying the spread of the coronavirus. But the information raises troubling privacy questions.

The fact that companies are collecting, storing and selling location information about individuals at all presents risks. Hackers or people with access to raw location data could identify or follow a person without consent, by pinpointing, for example, which phone regularly spent time at that person’s home address.

Full article: How Smartphone Location Tracking Works, and What You Can Do About It – The New York Times

House Investigating Company Selling Phone Location Data to Government Agencies

A Democratic-led committee said it was conducting an investigation of the products sold by data broker Venntel.

The Democratic-led House Committee on Oversight and Reform has opened an investigation into the sale of the location data drawn from millions of U.S. mobile phones to law-enforcement agencies. Venntel Inc. is a Virginia-based data broker and software company that has contracts with the Department of Homeland Security.

Source: House Investigating Company Selling Phone Location Data to Government Agencies – WSJ

Pub ‘check-in’ apps provoke fresh privacy concerns

With pubs and restaurants required to collect customer data for contact tracing when they reopen, data privacy risks will be heightened.

The potential for pubs to mismanage, mishandle or lose that data in breaches or leaks has the potential to put the pub-going public at massive risk, says privacy experts.

Full article: Pub ‘check-in’ apps provoke fresh privacy concerns

EDPB adopts further COVID-19 guidance

During its 23rd plenary session, the EDPB adopted guidelines on the processing of health data for research purposes in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak and guidelines on geolocation and other tracing tools in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The  guidelines on the processing of health data for research purposes in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak aim to shed light on the most urgent legal questions concerning the use of health data, such as the legal basis of processing, further processing of health data for the purpose of scientific research, the implementation of adequate safeguards and the exercise of data subject rights.

The guidelines on geolocation and other tracing tools in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak aim to clarify the conditions and principles for the proportionate use of location data and contact tracing tools, for two specific purposes:
1.    using location data to support the response to the pandemic by modelling the spread of the virus in order to assess the overall effectiveness of confinement measures;
2.    using contact tracing, which aims to notify individuals who may have been in close proximity to someone who is eventually confirmed as a carrier of the virus, in order to break the contamination chains as early as possible.

Source: European Data Protection Board – Twenty-third Plenary session: EDPB adopts further COVID-19 guidance | European Data Protection Board

Android Users Battling Google Can’t Seek Intervention By Appeals Court

A group of Android users have lost another round in a privacy battle with Google over alleged location tracking.

U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California rejected the Android users’ request to immediately appeal his earlier ruling dismissing their claim that Google violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act.

Source: Android Users Battling Google Can’t Seek Intervention By Appeals Court 04/17/2020

Quebec Will Force Uber to Share Trip Location Data

Privacy advocates are concerned that the new law can paint an unsettling picture of people’s movements in Quebec.​

A new law that regulates taxis and ridesharing apps in Quebec will require real-time geolocation data, including pick-up/drop-off points and route information, to be shared with municipal governments and approved third parties.

Source: Quebec Will Force Uber to Share Your Trip Location Data – VICE

The NSA says it stopped tracking cellphone locations without a warrant

Last year the Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that a search warrant is required for law enforcement to perform cellphone tower searches to track someone’s location.

A letter sent by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to Senator Ron Wyden affirming that ever since that Carpenter decision, the “Intelligence community” has not sought cell-site location data or GPS records without a warrant.

Source: The NSA says it stopped tracking cellphone locations without a warrant | Engadget

Australian regulator files privacy suit against Google alleging location data misuse

An Australian regulator has filed a lawsuit against Alphabet Inc’s Google, accusing it of misleading smartphone users about how it collected and used personal location data, advancing a global crackdown on the world’s biggest tech firms.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said the local Google unit did not tell users of its Android operating system for almost two years that they needed to switch off two settings – not one – if they did not want the company to keep their information.

Source: Australian regulator files privacy suit against Google alleging location data misuse – Reuters

4 Dating Apps Pinpoint Users’ Precise Locations – and Leak the Data

Grindr, Romeo, Recon and 3fun were found to expose users’ exact locations, just by knowing a user name. Four popular dating apps that together can claim 10 million users have been found to leak precise locations of their members.

“By simply knowing a person’s username we can track them from home, to work,” explained Alex Lomas, researcher at Pen Test Partners, in a blog on Sunday. “We can find out where they socialize and hang out. And in near real-time.”

Source: 4 Dating Apps Pinpoint Users’ Precise Locations – and Leak the Data | Threatpost

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