New reports reveal that law enforcement agencies all across the US have been using a cellphone tracking tool to track people.
The app, known as Fog Reveal, uses billions of records from mobile devices to obtain location data and track people. The app has been used on criminal investigations since 2018 and has been used on everything from murder cases to tracking people who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The tool was developed by two former high-ranking Department of Homeland Security officials and relies on information from apps like Waze, Starbucks, and other apps that used targeted ads.
Though the tool has been used since 2018, this is the first time many are hearing about it. The secrecy surrounding the app as well as its use without warrants has prompted privacy concerns.
Advocates have also called into question whether or not the app violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.
The company claims the data is anonymized and that the data cannot be linked back to a single device or user, but law enforcement records show that data provided by Fog can be used to fill in the gaps. They also defended the use of data saying that they do not access personal information but only pull from “commercially available data without restrictions to use” often provided by data brokers.