If The Data Is Available, It Will Eventually Be Misused
from the a-perfect-example dept
We already covered how the US Justice Department kept going around to different district courts trying to find any judge that would approve their right to get your location info from mobile phone providers without first getting a warrant. After multiple denials (including ones where the judges had strong words of criticism for the DoJ for even attempting this), they finally found a judge who was sympathetic and gave them the go-ahead. Since there’s no other party in these suits, there’s no appeal either. Declan McCullough is covering this story again, but adds one interesting element that hadn’t been discussed. When laws were first being put forth to require phones to have tracking data, the FBI director at the time testified that they would never use that data for tracking people. He says so unequivocally: “There is no intent whatsoever, with reference to this term, to acquire anything that could properly be called ‘tracking’ information.” However, that’s exactly what is happening now. This is to be expected, of course, and highlights one of the biggest problems with all of these data collection efforts — both governmental and in the private sector (yes, that means the search engines, too) — is that no matter what the intentions of those who set them up originally, sooner or later someone will abuse them and use the data for unintended purposes.