The ACLU has obtained records from DHS about its usage of mobile location data to track people’s movements. The records show that the tracking was used on a large scale and raises new questions about federal agencies’ efforts to get around restrictions on warrantless searches. They are released to the public here, after being obtained through through a lFOIA awsuit it filed in 2020 (ACLU v. DHS Commercia Location Data FOIA).
According to the ACLU records, the data was harvested from apps on hundreds of millions of phones from 336,000 location data points across North America. The data points came from all over the continent, including in major cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Denver, Toronto and Mexico City. This location data use continued into the Biden administration, as Customs and Border Protection renewed a contract for $20,000 that ended in September 2021.