Source: New York Times

New York Times launched an investigation called the Privacy Project to look at how companies that are little known to Americans are collecting location data on millions of Americans every second, every hour and every day.

Files obtained by investigators contained information on 12 million Americans, from their daily commutes to their whereabouts throughout the day and night. Investigators found that though the data is supposedly anonymous because there’s no name attached to it, anyone could easily zero in on the movement of a smartphone and figure out who it is.

Times reports that Americans are solely relying on the word of these companies to keep their data safe and not share it with others.

The data obtained by the Times “represents just a small slice of what’s collected and sold every day by the location tracking industry — surveillance so omnipresent in our digital lives that it now seems impossible for anyone to avoid.”

Companies claim that people consent to being tracked, but oftentimes “consent” comes in the form of merely choosing to download an app that has tracking in it.

The Times investigation hopes to shed light on the situation and to “document the risk of underregulated surveillance,” that is happening through independent companies that are dedicated to tracking people through their smartphones and using the data for marketing.

Read Full Story: New York Times

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On-going Investigation: How Millions of Americans are Being Tracked

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