Twelve million phones, tracked

Dec 20, 2019 by

The Times recently obtained a data file that contained 50 billion pings from more than 12 million smartphones, revealing the exact locations and activities of millions of people in America over several months from 2016 to 2017. The information was provided to us by sources who were alarmed by the power of the location-tracking industry.

Two of our reporters spent months digging into the data, which is legally bought and sold every day. After reading their findings, you might never use your phone the same way again. (We also have tips on how to protect yourself.)

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