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US agencies using phone location data for immigration enforcement, report says

The data is collected from gaming, weather and shopping apps, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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Jeff Foott/Getty images

The Trump administration has reportedly acquired access to a commercial database that tracks the movements of millions of cellphones in the US. The data is being used for immigration and border enforcement, according to sources and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. 

The data is reportedly collected from apps for gaming, weather and shopping that ask users to grant them location access. The Journal's Friday report said the Department of Homeland Security uses the information to detect undocumented immigrants and people who may be entering the US illegally. 

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement reportedly uses the data to identify and arrest immigrants, while US Customs and Border Protection reportedly taps the data to spot phone activity in remote places like the deserts near the Mexican border. 

Neither the White House, the Department of Justice nor ICE immediately responded to requests for comment.