Great news, they’re rolling out yet another way to curtail our liberty! From Anne Toomey McKenna at consortiumnews.com:
Fog Reveal raises enormous privacy and civil liberties concerns, writesmay be permissible because the U.S. lacks a comprehensive federal data privacy law.
Government agencies and private security companies in the U.S. have found a cost-effective way to engage in warrantless surveillance of individuals, groups and places: a pay-for-access web tool called Fog Reveal.
The tool enables law enforcement officers to see “patterns of life” – where and when people work and live, with whom they associate and what places they visit. The tool’s maker, Fog Data Science, claims to have billions of data points from over 250 million U.S. mobile devices.
Fog Reveal came to light when the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit that advocates for online civil liberties, was investigating location data brokers and uncovered the program through a Freedom of Information Act request.
EFF’s investigation found that Fog Reveal enables law enforcement and private companies to identify and track people and monitor specific places and events, like rallies, protests, places of worship and health care clinics. The Associated Press found that nearly two dozen government agencies across the country have contracted with Fog Data Science to use the tool.
Domestic law enforcement agencies also use technology for surveillance, but generally with greater restrictions. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure, and federal electronic surveillance law require domestic law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before tracking someone’s location using a GPS device or cell site location information.