From Texas Public Radio:
The Heritage Foundation locked on to the locations of at least 30,000 cell phones at non-government (NGO) migrant aid shelters and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities. The Washington D.C.-based conservative think-tank then continued tracking the movement of the devices across the country over the course of at least a month in January 2022.
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and the Del Rio and Val Verde CBP processing stations in Texas were among the more than 30 migrant facilities that were “geofenced” for data tracking in a report released in December by Heritage.
In the report, Heritage says that the cell phone location data was used to “test the anecdotal reporting that the movement of illegal aliens through the United States is being facilitated not just by the federal government under President Joe Biden and (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, but also by NGOs.”
That report raised red flags with privacy experts over how the organization obtained the cell phone location data and the individuals that it might have included.
Beryl Lipton, an investigative researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, explains that similar data is legally available for sale, and that marketing companies commonly buy it from brokers or cellular networks.
However, Lipton said that the data capture at immigration facilities described in the Heritage report is especially alarming.