Powerful Mobile Phone Surveillance Tool Operates in Obscurity Across the US
POWERFUL MOBILE PHONE SURVEILLANCE TOOL OPERATES IN OBSCURITY ACROSS THE COUNTRY
CellHawk helps law enforcement visualize large quantities of information collected by cellular towers and providers.
CellHawk’s surveillance capabilities go beyond analyzing metadata from cellphone towers. Hawk Analytics claims it can churn out incredibly revealing intelligence from large datasets like ride-hailing records and GPS — information commonly generated by the average American. According to the company’s website, CellHawk uses GPS records in its “unique animation analysis tool,” which, according to company promotional materials, plots a target’s calls and locations over time. “Watch data come to life as it moves around town or the entire county,” the site states.
CellHawk helps police exploit information already collected by
private telecommunications providers.
A screenshot showing the previously more honest version of their marketing. Screenshot: Sam Richards
Data Sharing and Loose Regulation in Minnesota
Hennepin County defined its own legal standards to rely upon in
deploying technology like CellHawk.
Deployed — and Promoted — Across the Country
“This highlights how the rapid development of surveillance tech
outstrips existing laws.”