The foreign media, motherboard, recently revealed that through public records, interviews with developers and technical analysis, the US military is purchasing people’s movement data from all over the world, which are harvested from seemingly harmless applications. According to the analysis of the data, the most popular one is a Koran app for Muslim prayer, which has more than 98 million downloads worldwide.
The survey found that the source of the data was two companies.
Babel street has created a product called locate X. as a branch of the U.S. military responsible for counter-terrorism, counterinsurgency, and special reconnaissance, the U.S. special operations command has purchased access to locate x to assist overseas special forces.
The locate x data itself is anonymous, but the source said, “we have the ability to change that.”.
According to public records, US Special Operations Command purchased “additional software licenses” for locate X and Babel x, another text analysis focused product, in April. Records show that the additional licenses bundled cost about $90600.
Commander Tim Hawkins, spokesman for the U.S. special operations command, confirmed the purchase of locate X in a statement, adding: “we use the software to support the mission requirements of special operations forces overseas. We strictly abide by established procedures and policies to protect the privacy, civil liberties, constitutional and legal rights of American citizens. “
Another source is a company called X-mode, which takes location data directly from applications and sells it to contractors and then to the military.
Applications that send location information data to X-mode include mushim pro, which reminds users when to pray and in which direction Mecca is relative to the user’s current location. According to Google play store, the app has been downloaded more than 50 million times on Android, and more than 98 million times on other platforms, including IOS, according to the music Pro website.
We should pay attention to the opacity of the location data industry. From this, we can see that the U.S. military uses location-based drones to attack targets. It is actually these data that play a big role. These bombed target Ke Neng couldn’t have imagined that it was the app in his mobile phone that betrayed himself.