The Hill has reported that American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is ramping up efforts to obtain records of the Trump administration’s reported purchase of cellphone data to track locations of immigrants.
The ACLU on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) demanding the agencies release the records. The group says it has waited for more than nine months for DHS, CBP and ICE to produce the records through the Freedom of Information Act.
The nonprofit alleges the government agencies bought access to databases containing “precise location information for millions of people,” gathered by apps running on smartphones.
The Wall Street Journal first reported in February that the Trump administration was buying access to such data through a company named Venntel that was selling access to a database to DHS, ICE and CBP.
“The agencies’ purchase raise serious concerns that they are avoiding Fourth Amendment protection for cell phone location information by paying for access instead of obtaining a warrant,” the ACLU wrote in the lawsuit.