In the hands of law enforcement, this data could be evidence. But at every other moment, the location data is reviewed by hedge funds, financial institutions and marketers, in an attempt to learn more about where we shop and how we live.
This new data set offers proof that not only is there more interest in location data than before, but it is also easier to deanonymize. It gets easier by the day. As the data from Jan. 6 eerily demonstrates, it does not discriminate. It harvests from the phones of MAGA rioters, police officers, lawmakers and passers-by. There is no evidence, from the past or current day, that the power this data collection offers will be used only to good ends. There is no evidence that if we allow it to continue to happen, the country will be safer or fairer.
Charlie Warzel and Stuart A. Thompson show , in this NYTimes Opinion piece, how insidiously apps leak information, whether users know it or not