Secret Service Paid to Get Americans' Location Data Without a Warrant

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Secret Service Paid to Get Americans' Location Data Without a Warrant
Short Title Secret Service Paid Data Broker to Get Americans' Location Data Without a Warrant
Location United States
Date August 2020

Taxonomy Surveillance, Exclusion
Information Location, Identifying
Threat Actors Babel Street, Law Enforcement

Affected US residents
High Risk Groups
Secondary Consequences

United States law enforcement was found purchasing data on Americans from data brokers, which allows them access the personal information without a warrant.


A newly released document shows the U.S. Secret Service went through a controversial social media surveillance company to purchase the location information on Americans' movements, no warrant necessary.

Babel Street is an organization that offers a product called Locate X that is reportedly used to gather location data from a host of popular apps that users have unwittingly installed on their phones. That's an example of Exclusion and Surveillance.

The released document covers a relationship between Secret Service and Babel Street from September 28, 2017 to September 27, 2018.

Based on Fourth Amendment protections, law enforcement typically has to get a warrant or court order to seek to obtain Americans’ location data. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that cops still need the warrant to gather cellphone location data from network providers.

Risk Statistics

Laws and Regulations