It turned out that the United States Treasury Department responsible for managing the state’s finances began to dive into applications that collect confidential data. This was reported by The Intercept, indicating that over the past four months, the US department has spent over $ 300,000 on two transactions.
The US Treasury Department appears to be accessing citizens’ data in questionable ways
The purchase concerned information collected by Babel Street, a company that had previously transferred its confidential data collected by applications to other agencies. So, does the aforementioned department want to use the purchased data for nefarious purposes (e.g. personalized advertisements, perfectly matching the given person’s offer)? Of course not – this data is collected for investigations.
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The transactions are not a secret, for example, in July this year, the details of one of the agreements were announced, which gave investigators of the Foreign Assets Control Office (OFAC) access to the location data of mobile applications from the Locate X Babel Street tool. These helped officials track down people and enforce international sanctions. In turn, the September gaining access to “public records of digital media” gave the US Tax Office grounds for catching, inter alia, influencers promoting something for money.
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As Engadget points out, the September agreement also provided the Tax Office with access to the addresses or marital status of certain people, the details of which were collected by Babel Street. This, in turn, raises legal doubts as to whether such actions of state offices are simply legal, because in this way they obtain data without a warrant. However, laws are already being drawn up to curb such practices.