According to contracts obtained by The Epoch Times senior reporter Zachary Stieber, the public health agency paid one firm $420,000 and another $208,000. This combined spending of $628,000 gave the CDC access to location data from at least 55 million cellphone users in the United States. (Related: Postal Service accused of sharing private info of 68M households obtained from COVID-19 tests.)
The contracts were approved under emergency review using CDC's COVID-19 pandemic protocols. The agency claims in the contracts that the purchase of location data would provide it "with the necessary data to continue critical emergency response functions related to evaluating the impact of visits to key points of interest, stay-at-home orders, closures, re-openings and other public health communications related to mask mandates, and other merging research areas on community transmission of SARS-CoV-2."
The CDC has not published any study or other kind of analysis or insight after it purchased the cell phone location data. Scott Pauley, a CDC spokesperson who spoke with The Epoch Times, refused to elaborate on what the purchased data were used for.
Pauley claimed that location data provide "essential information" on the effectiveness of U.S. COVID-19 pandemic policies, such as stay-at-home orders and business closures. Pauley further claimed that the purchased data can "shed important light on other pressing public health problems" like the CDC's response to natural disasters and toxic environmental exposures.
"CDC does not and could not use these data for monitoring compliance with COVID-19 orders or individual tracking," he claimed." The data CDC received were aggregated and anonymous, had extensive privacy protections and could not be used to identify individuals. They cannot be tied to an individual and have multiple layers of privacy protections to prevent misuse or re-identification."
Despite CDC claims, the data could easily be de-anonymized and used to identify people. Furthermore, the agency could track people under a part of the CDC's contract with the companies it purchased the location data from labeled "potential use cases,"
The data could be used to monitor adherence to mandated or recommended COVID-19 quarantines after arrival from another state and to examine the correlation of mobility patterns and spikes in COVID-19 cases at public gathering places like churches and grocery stores. The CDC's contract also allows it to examine movement restrictions such as curfews and stay-at-home orders to show "patterns" and "compliance."
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the ranking Republican on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, expressed concern over the CDC's purchase of location data, asking the agency why it needed the data and whether it shared this private information with other government agencies.
"It remains unclear why the CDC tracked millions of Americans during the pandemic and whether it continues to do so," he said in a statement. "In response to COVID-19, the CDC should have been prioritizing the development of treatments, effective testing and vaccine safety rather than tracking Americans' daily lives."
Learn more about government surveillance operations at PrivacyWatch.news.
Watch InfoWars host Greg Reese discuss how the CDC has confirmed that the majority of fatal COVID-19 vaccines were knowingly sent to conservative states.