Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a fierce protector of freedom and privacy, says it is time to ban federal agencies from being able to track Americans’ behavior by buying their cell phone location data from commercial vendors.
“When the government is trying to snoop on your behavior, it’s wrong, and there should be laws against it,” Paul told the “Just the News, Not Noise” television show in an exclusive interview aired Wednesday night.
Paul’s comments came after newly released government documents revealed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracked Americans’ compliance with pandemic lockdowns by buying and monitoring their cellphone geospatial data from commercial vendors.
Such data is collected on each American from apps they use on their smart phones and sold by third-party brokers unless a user explicitly opts out of such collection for each app. Increasingly, law enforcement and other government agencies have been acquiring the data for official work, though the CDC was the first publicly disclosed use to track private Americans’ health behavior.
The data also was bought and used by the election integrity group True the Vote to identify people suspected of illegally collecting ballots in the 2020 Georgia election, a revelation that has prompted a formal investigation by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.