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CDC harvested data to track US citizens

by on04 May 2022

Wanted to make sure they were locked down

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bought access to location data harvested from tens of millions of phones in the United States to perform an analysis of compliance with curfews.

The data was used to track patterns of people visiting K-12 schools, and specifically monitor the effectiveness of policy in the Navajo Nation.

The documents show that the CDC used COVID-19 as a reason to buy access to the data more quickly. Location data is information on a device's location sourced from the phone, which can then show where a person lives, works, and where they went.

To be fair the data the CDC bought was aggregated but there are fears that it could be deanonymised and used to track specific people.

The CDC last year used location data from a highly controversial data broker. SafeGraph, the company the CDC paid $420,000 for access to one year of data. For those not in the know, SafeGraph includes Peter Thiel and the former head of Saudi intelligence among its investors and has managed to be banned by Google.


Last modified on 04 May 2022
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