In a little noted trend, law enforcement agencies at every level of government are increasingly buying data from private, third-party data brokers on Americans’ phone and internet activities in order to track them, often without a warrant.
While proponents say this practice provides critical help for investigations, critics argue it poses a serious violation of civil liberties that needs to be addressed through legislation.
With one exception, every gold standard study of masks in community settings has failed to find that they slow the spread of contagious respiratory diseases. The outlier is a widely cited study run in Bangladesh during the Covid-19 pandemic, and some of its authors claim it proves that mask mandates “or strategies like handing out masks at churches and other public events—could save thousands of lives each day globally and hundreds each day in the United States.”
A family safety app used to track children’s movements is selling location data to several different data brokers, according to an investigation by The Markup.
Life360, which bills itself as a “family location sharing app” that purports to “simplify safety” for families, is selling customers’ location data to over a dozen data brokers including X-Mode, SafeGraph and Cuebiq, the Markup reported, citing interviews with two ex–Life360 employees and two former employees of major location data brokers.
Border officials encountered the third-highest number of migrants at the southern border on record, reaching more than 1.7 million apprehensions, according to Customs and Border Protection data.
Border officials reported 192,000 encounters with migrants attempting to illegally enter the U.S. through the southwest border in September, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. A record high of more than 213,500 migrants were apprehended in July and another 209,800 were encountered in August.
“CBP encounters along the Southwest border declined in September from the prior month, and a majority of noncitizens encountered were expelled under Title 42,” Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement. “The men and women of CBP continued to rise admirably to the challenge, despite the strain associated with operating during a global pandemic that has claimed far too many lives among our frontline personnel.”
Monthly border encounters with migrants attempting to illegally enter the U.S. decreased slightly in August for the first time since President Joe Biden took office but remain near record highs, according to Customs and Border Protection data.
Border officials encountered nearly 209,000 migrants at the southern border in August, down from a record high of 213,500 people in July, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Officials encountered a record-high number of migrants compared to 50,000 in August 2020 and 62,700 in August 2019.
However, a “larger-than-usual number of migrants” are attempting to illegally cross the border several times so “total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border,” CBP announced. Officials encountered 156,600 unique individuals in August and 25% of them had at least one prior encounter in the last 12 months.
The U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.
The number of unemployed people decreased to 8.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Economists projected 720,000 Americans — roughly three times the actual number — would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Despite the delta variant, there is still an opening up of the service sector of the U.S. economy,” Nationwide Mutual Insurance Chief Economist David Berson told the WSJ. “While that started some months ago, it’s not nearly complete.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended that all schools require mask-wearing indoors by teachers and students, vaccinated or unvaccinated against COVID-19.
And many school districts are adopting that requirement, to the dismay of many parents.
The number of white people in the United States has dropped for the first time since 1790, according to new data from the 2020 Census.
Data from the 2020 count of people living in America shows that the country has become substantially more ethnically diverse, particularly in the under-18 category. Additionally, the country’s population grew 7.4% in the last ten years, a slower rate than any decade since the 1930s.
The numbers indicate that growth in the American population for the last decade has been driven by minority populations. While whites still make up a little less than 58% of the American population, that figure dropped below 60% for the first time since the census-taking began.
New federal reporting shows illegal immigration has continued to grow worse as the Biden administration increasingly takes heat for the crisis at the southern border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released new immigration data that shows border agents encountered 212,672 undocumented migrants attempting to enter the country illegally in July, the highest number in more than two decades.
“The situation at the border is one of the toughest challenges we face,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. “It is complicated, changing, and involves vulnerable people at a time of a global pandemic.”
Louisiana U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has introduced a bill to limit protections for social media companies that secretly leverage user data to promote divisive content.
Kennedy, a Republican, blasted Silicon Valley behemoths such as Facebook and Twitter for “provoking” platform users and blamed the “manipulative” business practice for causing unnecessary social conflict.
“Social media giants are using people’s data to manipulate them into spending more time on their sites, but the price is a more polarized America,” Kennedy said in a statement. “It’s time to stop rewarding platforms that use their algorithms to target users with content that plays on individuals’ emotions without their consent.”
Beth Palmer was 17 and dreaming of becoming a singer in March 2020 when the United Kingdom went into lockdown because of the coronavirus. One month later, she was dead.
“She was a wonderful, wonderful daughter. She was just funny, she lit up the room.,” said Mike Palmer, Beth’s father. “She was so affectionate and loving as well. She basically had the world at her feet. She had everything, everything to live for.”
Palmer didn’t die of the coronavirus. She took her own life.
Founding father and the second president of the United States John Adams once said that “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” What he meant was that objective, raw numbers don’t lie—and this remains true hundreds of years later.
We just got yet another example. A new data analysis from Harvard University, Brown University, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation calculates how different employment levels have been impacted during the pandemic to date. The findings reveal that government lockdown orders devastated workers at the bottom of the financial food chain but left the upper-tier actually better off.
The analysis examined employment levels in January 2020, before the coronavirus spread widely and before lockdown orders and other restrictions on the economy were implemented. It compared them to employment figures from March 31, 2021.