Brokered cell location data led to the outing and resignation of a Catholic official

Brokered cell location data led to the outing and resignation of a Catholic official


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Location data from a cell phone, obtained and sold by data brokers, has lead to the alleged outing and resignation of a priest working for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, according to a report from The Washington Post. The traffic data, which was linked to the priest and appeared to show when and where he was using the LGBTQ dating app Grindr, was obtained by a publication and shared with the Conference, where the priest worked as the general secretary.

This incident is another example of how invasive the collection and sale of location and other personal data by brokers can be. While the data sold by these companies is ostensibly anonymized, it’s been shown that individuals can be picked out and tracked. The data broker industry…

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