NSA buys personal data illegally-obtained from smartphone users | Technology

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A letter to the US Director of National Intelligence reveals that the NSA buys personal data which was illegally-obtained from smartphone users through the apps they use.

The open letter was sent by US senator and member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Ron Wyden. He asks US security services to cease this practice, and to purge existing data which was obtained illegally …

NSA buys personal data that was illegally-obtained

When app developers capture personal information about you, they must by law disclose the ways in which that data will be used.

Something none of them disclose – but many of them do – is to sell your personal data, including location history, through data brokers to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and National Security Agency (NSA).

That’s, uh, probably something you’d want to know.

The Federal Trade Commission (the closest thing the US has to a federal privacy regulator) confirms this is illegal, and took legal action against one of the data brokers involved, X -Mode Social. But yesterday’s letter reveals that the DIA and NSA continue to purchase this data.

Security agencies would need a warrant

If security agencies like the NSA wanted to obtain this data directly from developers and internet service providers, they would need a search warrant.

But by buying the data indirectly, they avoid this requirement. This, says Senator Wyden, needs to stop.

I write to request that you take action to ensure that U.S. intelligence agencies only purchase data on Americans that has been obtained in a lawful manner.

As you know , U.S. intelligence agencies are purchasing personal…

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