Archived: Federal Agencies Use Cellphone Location Data for Immigration Enforcement

This is a simplified archive of the page at

Use this page embed on your own site:

The Trump administration has been using a database that maps the movements of millions of cellphones to monitor the Mexican border and make immigration arrests, according to people familiar with the matter.

kwexclusive, Computers/Consumer Electronics, Software, Applications Software, Telecommunications Equipment, Mobile Communications Devices, Personal Electronics, Cell/Mobile/Smart Phones, Computing, Consumer Electronics, Handheld Electronic Devices, Security/Privacy Software, Technology, Political/General News, National/Public Security, Privacy Issues/Information Security, Human Migration, Politics/International Relations, Domestic Politics, State Security Measures/Policies, Government Bodies, Department of Homeland/National Security, Executive Branch, SYND,, Politics & Policy, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Trump administration, political, general news, national, public security, privacy issues, information security, human migration, politics, international relations, domestic politics, state security measures, policies, government bodies, department of homeland, national security, executive branch, politics & policy, computers, consumer electronics, software, applications software, telecommunications equipment, mobile communications devices, personal electronics, cell, mobile, smart phones, computing, handheld electronic devices, security, privacy software, technologyReadArchived

Commercial database that maps movements of millions of cellphones is deployed by immigration and border authorities

The U.S. government is using app-generated marketing data based on the movements of millions of cellphones around the country for some forms of law enforcement. We explain how such data is being gathered and sold. Photo: Justin Lane/Shutterstock

WASHINGTON—The Trump administration has bought access to a commercial database that maps the movements of millions of cellphones in America and is using it for immigration and border enforcement, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The location data is drawn from ordinary cellphone apps, including those for games, weather and e-commerce, for which the user has granted permission to log the phone’s location.

To Read the Full Story

Continue reading your article with
a WSJ membership

View Membership Options