What you need to know
- As U.S. government contractor embedded tracking software in numerous mobile apps.
- That's according to a new WSJ report.
- It says that hundreds of millions of users were tracked worldwide as a result.
A damning new WSJ report says a small U.S. government contractor embedded software in over 500 apps, tracking millions of people worldwide.
Anomaly Six LLC is the company in question, apparently boasting in marketing material that it was "able to draw location data from more than 500 mobile applications" from its own software development kit, embedded directly in some apps:
The report says Anomaly Six is a federal contractor that provides global location data to "to branches of the U.S. government and private-sector clients". It told WSJ that it restricts the sale of U.S. mobile phone movement data only to the private sector, however.
The report further claims "numerous" U.S. government agencies have deemed the scheme lawful. The report continues:
The data extracted from apps is reportedly anonymized with alphanumeric identifiers not linked to user's names, however over time anonymous data can very easily be linked to an individual (if you take the same commute to work from your house each day, for example). The report notes:
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