By Jennifer Smith For Dailymail.com
Published: 20:56 BST, 6 October 2020 | Updated: 20:57 BST, 6 October 2020
The IRS is being investigated for buying location data from apps installed on people's phones to try to find criminal suspects without obtaining a proper warrant for the information.
It is among a handful of government departments that has been known to purchase the data from Venntel, a Virginia-based analytics company.
Venntel buys it first from private marketing companies who buy it from apps which have been granted access to a person's location services on their phone.
Then, it sells it on - mostly to advertisers - but also branches of government.
It's unclear which apps sell to Venntel and which of those apps the various government departments is most interested in.
It has previously been reported that they are mostly weather trackers and games.
The government has been buying information from Venntel which maps people's movements based on their cell phone location data
The IRS claims it used it to track down criminal suspects, according to VICE. In this case, it was looking for a handful of suspects but they did not find them.
Nevertheless, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division is now investigating on the insistence of Senators Ron Wyden and