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US Defense Intelligence Agency Buys Your Smartphone Location Data From Brokers

Published: January 24, 2021
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US Defense Intelligence Agency has just confirmed that the US government does indeed buy your location data collected from your smartphones by brokers.
US Defense Intelligence Agency Buys Your Smartphone Location Data From Brokers

In a memo sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and obtained by The New York Times, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) admitted that it buys location data from brokers — and that the data isn’t separated by whether a person lives in the US or outside of it.

Data brokers are companies that, as the name implies, collect and sell people’s information. The companies collect people’s location information (and much more) by paying app makers and websites for it.

Once the broker has the information, they can aggregate it and sell it to whoever’s willing to pay for it — including the US government.

Sen. Wyden, who requested the memo be made, has a bill called “The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale,” which aims to “ban the government from buying information that would otherwise require a court order or a warrant.”

Usually we would put in a line or two about the relevance of the development to the Indian context.

But since we do not even have Data Protection Law everything is up for sale.


On the contrary, the Indian government itself contracts foreign military companies to implement critical national infrastructure projects.

Perhaps, that is why the official motto of the agency that oversees Aadhaar is: Your Data Is Our Data. Anytime. Anyplace. By Any Legal Means.

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GreatGameIndia is a journal on Geopolitics and International Relations. Get to know the Geopolitical threats India is facing in our exclusive book India in Cognitive Dissonance.

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