A trove of cell phone location data obtained by The New York Times allowed the newspaper to trace the movements and deduce the identities of Secret Service agents, members of the intelligence community, and high-ranking congressional and national security staffers, a report revealed Friday.
Among those the Times was able to track was a member of President Trump's Secret Service entourage who moved with the president from his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Florida, to the nearby Trump National Golf Club for a round on the links with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to a third Trump property, the Trump International Golf Club, for lunch, and then back to Mar-a-Lago.
"Americans have grown eerily accustomed to being tracked throughout their digital lives," the Times story comments, as phone data collection is often "hidden from consumers" or "done without the full knowledge of the device holders." Many ordinary apps, some with no apparent need for location data, constantly track users' movements without their realization. Federal security agencies have rules in place to protect employees' privacy and limit opportunities for leaks, blackmail, or attack, but enforcement is difficult and inconsistent.
"I'm wary of breathless, pearl-clutching, speculative, sensationalistic counterintelligence concerns," David Kris, a former Justice Department official, told the Times. "This doesn't strike me as falling into that category. I think there is a legitimate concern here."
Read the full story at The New York Times.