EPIC Seeks Records on DHS Location Surveillance

December 3, 2021

EPIC submitted two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seeking information about their use of location-tracking software. ICE and CBP have each contracted with the firm Babel Street, which sells the location-tracking software Locate X. Through Locate X, CBP and ICE agents can capture past, present, and future locations of cell phones that pass through certain locations. The technology could, for example, be used to determine where people who crossed parts of the U.S.-Mexico border had been months prior, and track where they traveled after crossing. EPIC’s inquiry into CBP’s and ICE’s use of location-tracking software is part of EPIC’s broader advocacy countering location surveillance and surveillance of immigrants and travelers.

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