The US government acknowledges purchasing Americans’ personal information

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The US government is reportedly purchasing Americans’ private information. This information comes from a recently declassified report. Well, the most shocking part of this report is that organizations like the FBI are purchasing this data. The Office of the Directorate of National Intelligence (ODNI) conducted this study. This research attests to the fact that government organizations purchase “commercially available information.”

The data is collected from several devices like IoT devices, connected cars, smartphones, web tracking techs like cookies, and others. The information fetched from this data includes location, web browsing activity, and social media info. This is referred to as Commercially Available Information or CAI.

CAI shows information like the interests of individuals towards specific things relevant to political, religious, travel, and speech activities. Every user is tracked based on their smartphone location or ad-tracking records. Surprisingly, the government has acknowledged the fact that it has acquired the data.

Data is frequently made anonymous

The data might be anonymous. However, there are several other ways to identify Americans based on commercially available information. As with any type of information, the paper does concede that some of the information that can be gathered may be misused.

Well, this is quite scary but not surprising at all. Since Facebook and Google access some sort of user data as well. Given the current situation, there is a need for some privacy improvements. Currently, Apple is implying new privacy measures. Do note that Apple is the only tech giant that is not a part of the huge ad business.

The reason why tech giants collect data is to better target the audience. In this way, they can charge more for ads. It works as a two-sided deal for both the tech giants and advertisers and thus proves to be a win-win situation.

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