It’s no secret that consumer data is collected by various private companies. Google, Instagram, and others routinely collect information about our locations, preferences, and habits. The databases that store this information are a valuable resource with many applications.
But private companies and consumers are not the only entities interested in leveraging this information. Governments have an interest in obtaining this data fulfill various government policy goals.
One example are reports that document social media companies collaborating with the U.S. government to craft policies and censor information. Government entities work with these companies to advance administrative goals.
This is one of many examples of a broader trend. Across all governmental sectors, state actors seek to either compel corporate entities to provide consumer information to the government or agents contract with companies whose main function is to utilize highly invasive technologies to serve government functions.