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Protect your privacy: Learn how the government uses artificial intelligence to track immigrant data

July 27, 2023
  • News

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been using Babel X to collect and analyze social media data. This tool can identify potential threats to national security such as terrorist activities or human trafficking, but it also has the potential to be used to violate immigrants’ privacy. 

Babel X allows DHS agents to access more than 200 online sources of information, including social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), blogs, forums, news, and websites. According to the platform’s official website, the system can process more than 40 languages and dialects, as well as detect patterns, trends, sentiments, and anomalies in the data. 

It can also track movements of individuals and groups and collect information about potential criminal activity. 


Learn how to protect your data while browsing the Internet 

Immigrants are often targeted by scammers and identity thieves because they may not be familiar with the laws of their new country or may not have the resources to protect themselves. In addition, immigrants often do not report data breaches or other privacy violations to law enforcement for fear of deportation. 

The possibility that Babel X will be used to violate the privacy of immigrants is of grave concern. The tool collects a wealth of data about people, including their social media activity, travel history, and contacts. This data could be used to track immigrants, identify them as potential threats, or even deport them. 

Here are some tips to keep your data safe: 

  1. Be careful what you share online

When using social media, be careful what you share. Don’t post anything that could be used to identify you or your location. If you need to share personal information, be sure to use strong privacy settings. 

  1. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication

A strong password is at least 12 characters long and includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by prompting you to enter a code from your phone in addition to your password. 

  1. Use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi

A VPN encrypts your traffic, which makes it much harder for someone to steal your data. If you’re using public Wi-Fi, such as in a coffee shop or at an airport, make sure you use a VPN. 

  1. Be careful about the apps you download

Only download apps from trusted sources. Before downloading an app, read reviews to see what other users have to say about it. 

  1. Beware of phishing scams

Phishing scams are emails or text messages that appear to come from a legitimate source, such as a bank or government agency. These emails or text messages often contain a link that, when clicked, will take you to a fake website that looks like the real website. Once you enter your personal information on the fake website, the scammer can steal it. 

  1. Back up your data regularly

If your data is stolen, you’ll be glad to have a backup. Back up your data to an external hard drive, cloud storage service, or both. 

The landscape of data security threats is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay current. Following these tips will protect your data from Babel X and other sensitive information collection tools. 

(With information from VICE)