U.S. Spy Agencies Buy Vast Quantities of Americans' Personal Data, U.S. Says

Vast amounts of personal data from Americans has been bought by the U.S. government and create significant threats to privacy.

  • The data is commercially available and over time has replicated the results of intrusive surveillance techniques once used on a more targeted and limited basis.

The information can now “cause harm to an individual’s reputation, emotional well-being, or physical safety,” according to the report.

  • Vendors who collect and sell the personal information claim the data is “anonymized” — but experts say in most cases a name can be inferred.

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