The New York Times reports on the growing number of apps that collect smartphone users’ location information in order to sell it to third parties. About 75 companies obtain precise location data from smartphone apps when users enact location services. Some of those companies claim to track up to 200 million users in the U.S. The organizations turn around and sell the location information to advertisers, retailers and hedge funds that want to gain insights into consumers’ behavior. The Times examined one database that tracked the location information of individuals within the New York area. The database contained information tied to more than 1 million phones and, in some cases, updated every two seconds. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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