WASHINGTON - When you download something as mundane as a mobile prayer app, the last thing you would expect is to be swept up in a U.S. military mass surveillance program, write The Hill.
But that’s exactly what happened to 98 million people when it was reported that MuslimPro—touted as the most popular Muslim app by its creators—had unintentionally funnelled the personal data, including location information, of its worldwide users, including millions of Americans, to a US military counterterrorism unit after selling that data to a third-party databroker.
However, this does not stop with MuslimPro. Our most mundane online actions, from Google searches to dating profiles, are amassed and sold to third-party data brokers, which are basically data “middlemen” who sell our data to the highest bidder.
Typically, these data brokers turn our most sensitive personal data into lists that allow marketers to target consumers with personalized ads.
But law enforcement has been taking to the commercial marketplace to access these troves of data that would normally require a warrant.
This is a massive loophole in our Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures.
That is why privacy advocates are urging Congress to finally close this data broker loophole once and for all, concludes the Hill.