Customs and Border Protection finishes producing phone records in ACLU phone tracking suit

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The Customs and Border Protection agency has finished producing records in response to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union over the use of phone tracking data for immigration enforcement.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was among the agencies named in the lawsuit, which was first filed by the nonprofit in late 2020.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has sought to speed up the production of phone records, and in court documents filed in April, described a proposal by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to process 500 pages of information as “unreasonable,” given the significant public interest in the case.

In an argument to court in June, ACLU also sought an order requiring DHS to refer its request for records to the Secret Service and Coast Guard. DHS had earlier waited more than 14 months to reject ACLU’s initial request.

According to court documents, Democratic Senate aides had initially uncovered the warrantless use of such databases during a series of oversight calls with the agencies.

Mobile applications may sell users’ location data, transmitted by the GPS chips in their phones, to companies for marketing and other purposes. Washington, D.C.-based mobile analytics company Venntel collects that data from apps and sells it to government customers, thought its full client list hasn’t been disclosed.

ACLU and DHS declined to comment.

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ACLU, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
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