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It’s not just governments that are using cellphone location data to spy on citizens – banks are now getting in on the act too – with Barclays announcing changes to its customer agreement that will open the door to individuals being tracked in the name of preventing fraud.
Barclays’ new customer agreement terms (PDF) – set to come into force from October 9, 2013, will also permit the bank to collect social networking data as well as using private transaction information to bombard customers with unsolicited “services and products”.
“The information we use will include location data derived from any mobile device details you have given us. This helps us protect you from fraud,” states the document.
This suggests that phone companies in Britain must have given Barclays some kind of back door access to people’s private cellphones in order to track their precise location, whether in real time or after potential fraud has been reported.
All modern cellphones can be tracked down a location which is accurate within 50 meters. Police, governments and corporations already use such data to spy on individuals for both surveillance and data harvesting.
The changes also state that Barclays will track the behavior of its customers via social media. The bank will also retain “images of you or recordings of your voice” in addition to monitoring “transactions on your account, to increase our understanding of services and products that you may wish to use so we can send you information about them.”