In the News: Phone tracking tool used by law enforcement in many states
UNDATED (AP) — Think no one knows where you’ve been going unless you tell them? Think again.
Local law enforcement agencies from suburban Southern California to rural North Carolina have been using an obscure cellphone tracking tool that gives them the power to follow people’s movements — even months back in time.
And the software is being used at times without search warrants. Word of the use of “Fog Reveal” comes from public records and internal emails obtained by The Associated Press.
So far, police have used Fog Reveal to search hundreds of billions of records from 250 million mobile devices — and have used that data to create what’s known in law enforcement as “patterns of life” that can help solve crimes.
Fog Reveal has been used since at least 2018 in criminal cases — including tracing the movements of a potential participant in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
An official with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital privacy rights advocacy group, compares Fog Reveal to “a mass surveillance program on a budget.”
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