Use of commercial phone data by law enforcement sparks surveillance battle

Use of commercial phone data by law enforcement sparks surveillance battle

In January 2020, a 14-year-old girl was reported missing from her home in Missouri and declared a fugitive by local police. His phone was wiped of data and left behind leaving few clues about his whereabouts.

Several hundred miles away in Fayetteville, Ark., a local prosecutor named Kevin Metcalf heard about the teenager through his professional network and suspected he may have been kidnapped or lured to leave. Using widely available business data, he pushed that hump in a way that is now in the eyes of privacy advocates and lawmakers on both sides.

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