News

Private intelligence firm uses location data to track individuals

via VICE

A private company named HYAS markets itself as a threat intelligence firm and uses location data collected from apps to track people to their exact location.

The Issue

HYAS utilizes location data from a company called X-Mode, which collects location data from over 400 apps such as Perfect 365, beauty apps, and file converter apps. In addition to X-Mode, HYAS’ marketing also attributed its data collection to “exclusive sources” and “non-traditional” methods.

As Vice explains in their article, while many companies often use location data in an aggregate and to uncover trends and behaviors of thousands, if not, millions of people, HYAS specifically markets itself as being able to track specific individuals’ comings and goings.

HYAS has stated that it has several Fortune 25 clients as well as other intelligence, law enforcement, and tech companies.

Your move

As usual, location data is the main culprit here, as are the apps that collect your location data even if they don’t need it (take Perfect365, for example, a beauty app that likely doesn’t require your location data to function properly).

We encourage you to check your app permissions and disable location data as often as possible, disallowing apps from collecting that data when you’re not using the app. You may also want to turn off that permission altogether if the app in question doesn’t need it.

For more details about HYAS, how it collects your location data, and X-Mode, the company facilitating this, check out Vice’s article here.

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