Government access

08 Jun 2020
It's been two months since the launch of "Perú en us manos", the mobile app promoted by the Peruvian government amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Until now the app did not accomplish the ambitious goals it set out to. On its first month the app had detected 1400 risk zones while there where already 36
16 Apr 2020
Moscow's first attempts to introduce digital methods by which residents could obtain digital passes to move around the city failed as the website collapsed numerous times and the app required them to get a pass for every single move rather than only to drive a car, as the government has stated. City
21 Apr 2020
While the agency that manages residence permits, the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, is closed, Israel has instructed Palestinians seeking to verify whether their permits to remain in Israel are still valid to download the app Al Munasiq, which grants the military access to
24 Mar 2020
Managed from a purpose-built coronavirus control centre, Moscow's network of 100,000 cameras equipped with facial recognition technology is being used to ensure that anyone placed under quarantine stays off the streets. Officials claim the centre can also be used to track international arrivals and
25 Mar 2020
According to information collected by Le Temps, telco Swisscom will use SIM card geolocation data to communicate to federal authorities when more than 20 phones are detected in an 100 square meters area. Gathering of more than 5 people are forbidden in Switzerland since March 21. Data collected by
06 Feb 2020
A phone-tracking system used by SAPOL for criminal investigations was used to better understand where a coronavirus-infected 60-year-old couple, who had travelled from Wuhan to visit relatives, roamed in Adelaide in order to identify people who might have been exposed, according to the South
21 Nov 2019
Recent study shows that Americans are wary of data from smart speakers being used in criminal investigations, the Pew Research Center reported. A recent study showed that 49% of Americans answered that it is unacceptable for smart speakers companies to share audio recordings of their customers with
17 Aug 2018
US Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE) used social media monitoring to track groups and people in New York City associated with public events opposing the Trump administration’s policies, including ones related to immigration and gun control. The investigative branch of ICE created and
09 Jan 2019
The US government created a database of more than 50 journalists and immigrant rights advocates, many of whom were American citizens, associated with the journey of migrants travelling from Central America to the Mexico-US border in late 2018. Officials from Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
29 Apr 2019
A private intelligence company, LookingGlass Cyber Solutions, used social media to monitor more than 600 “Family Separation Day Protests” held across the United States on June 30, 2018, to oppose the Trump administration’s policy family separation policy. The policy was part of a “zero tolerance”
06 May 2019
Absher, an online platform and mobile phone app created by the Saudi Arabian government, can allow men to restrict women’s ability to travel, live in Saudi Arabia, or access government services. This app, which is available in the Google and Apple app stores, supports and enables the discriminatory
03 Jun 2019
Bahrain has warned its citizens and residents could face legal action simply for following social media accounts it deems anti-government, which raises concerns about the ability of Bahraini citizens and residents to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms. In May 2019, a state terrorism law
07 May 2018
A 2018 law passed in Egypt requires ride-hailing services such as Uber and local competitor Careem to supply passenger data to the security agencies when requested to do so. More than 4 million people in Egypt have used Uber since it debuted there in 2014. While human rights advocates expressed
21 Jul 2018
In July 2018, Facebook announced it was investigating whether the Boston-based company Crimson Hexagon had violated the company's policies on surveillance. Crimson Hexagon markets itself as offering "consumer insights". Its customers include a Russian non-profit with ties to the Kremlin, and
08 Jul 2018
In July 2018, members of the Internal Security Organisation, Uganda's counterintelligence agency, raided South African telecommunications provider MTN's Uganda data centre in Mutundwe. In a letter to the police, MTN said the ISO kidnapped a data manager who worked for the contractor that ran the
31 Aug 2018
In August 2018, two lawsuits, were filed against NSO Group, one brought in Israel by a Qatari citizen and the other in Cyprus by Mexican journalists and activists. All the plaintiffs had been targeted by the company's Pegasus spyware, which takes control of targets' phones when they click on links
31 Jul 2018
In 2018 genetic testing companies such as Ancestry and 23andMe agreed on guidelines for sharing users' DNA data and handling police requests. The guidelines, which include easy-to-read privacy policies, were inspired by two incidents: one in which local investigators used the GEDmatch DNA comparison
18 Sep 2018
In internet scans conducted between August 2016 and August 2018, Canada's Citizen Lab identified a total of 45 countries in which operators of Israel-based NSO Group's Pegasus spyware may be conducting surveillance operations. Pegasus is mobile phone spyware that targets are coerced into installing
06 May 2018
In May 2018, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office announced it would investigate Police Scotland after Privacy International filed a complaint that offers' use of "cyber kiosks", which when connected to a device can view all its data, violated the Data Protection Act. Trials of the technology
20 Apr 2018
In April 2018, the Austrian cabinet agreed on legislation that required asylum seekers would be forced to hand over their mobile devices to allow authorities to check their identities and origins. If they have been found to have entered another EU country first, under the Dublin regulation, they can
13 Oct 2018
In October 2018, a transparency report from the smart home company Nest, which Google acquired for $3.2 billion in 2014, found that between 2015 and 2018 Nest had been told to hand over data on 300 separate occasions relating to up to 525 Nest account holders. Nest turned over data in fewer than 20%
01 Aug 2018
By August 2018, the UK government's "hostile environment" policy, as set out in the 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts and other measures, was extending the national border into the heart of services such as banking, education, health, and housing where landlords and staff have been forced to implement
16 Dec 2017
In December 2017, it was revealed that the large telco Bharti Airtel made use of Aadhaar-linked eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) to open bank accounts for their customers without their knowledge or consent. eKYC is a way of using data in the UIDAI database as part of the verification process
15 Mar 2018
The small, portable GrayKey box, costing $15,000 for an internet-connected version tied to a specific location or $30,000 for an offline version usable anywhere, takes two minutes to install proprietary software designed to guess an iPhone's passcode. Intended for use by law enforcement officials
28 Feb 2018
As part of its attempt to keep its 40,000 drivers operating on the streets of London after Transport for London ruled in October 2017 it was not "fit and proper" to run a taxi service, Uber has promised to share its anonymised data on travel conditions and journey times. TfL said in February 2018
In February 2018 the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) signed a contract with Vigilant Solutions, giving it access to the company's giant database of billions of license plate records, which can be searched to produce every place a given license plate has been seen in the last five years
19 Dec 2014
In 2014, researchers at Princeton University outlined an attack that uses multiple third-party cookies to link traffic so that individual users can be identified and tracked from anywhere in the world. A nation-state wishing to surveil particular users outside its jurisdiction, for example, may have
24 Apr 2016
As part of its Smart Nation programme, in 2016 Singapore launched the most extensive collection of data on everyday living ever attempted in a city. The programme involved deploying myriad sensors and cameras across the city-state to comprehensively monitor people, places, and things, including all
20 Jul 2015
On July 1, 2015 Kuwait's National Assembly passed a new counter-terrorism law that included the requirement that all 1.3 million Kuwaiti citizens and 2.9 million foreign residents provide DNA samples, which will be stored in a database maintained and operated by the Interior Ministry. The law, which
10 Jun 2016
In June 2016, National Security Agency deputy director Richard Ledgett told a conference on military technology conference that the agency was researching whether internet-connected biomedical devices such as pacemakers could be used to collect foreign intelligence. Ledgett identified the complexity
08 May 2016
Twitter requested one of its key B2B partners, Dataminr — a service that offers advanced social media analytics and early detection of major events like terrorist attacks or natural disasters — stop providing U.S. intelligence agencies with their tools and content. Dataminr isn’t ending its
21 Mar 2017
In 2017, an anonymous whistleblower sent a letter to Green party peer Jenny Jones alleging that a secretive Scotland Yard unit was illegally monitoring the private emails of campaigners and journalists. The letter included a list of ten people and the passwords to their email accounts and claimed
27 Apr 2017
Connecticut police have used the data collected by a murder victim's Fitbit to question her husband's alibi. Richard Dabate, accused of killing his wife in 2015, claimed a masked assailant came into the couple's home and used pressure points to subdue him before shooting his wife, Connie. However