Republican Georgia Rep. Jody Hice sent a letter Tuesday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demanding answers over reports the government agency tracked the location data from millions of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Daily Caller first obtained the letter spearheaded by Hice and signed by 39 House Republicans. In the letter, the lawmakers mention an article from VICE, which reported the CDC spent $420,000 to obtain data from a data broker company named SafeGraph. The outlet obtained CDC documents reportedly showing their plans with the “highly controversial data broker” and stated that the data was used to monitor Americans as they visited neighbors, schools, pharmacies, gyms and even their places of worship.
“Americans are a free people with God-given rights protected by the Constitution. The CDC trampled on those rights when it used cell phone data to track whether Americans complied with their draconian COVID lockdown policies,” Hice told the Daily Caller before sending the letter.
“I demand answers from the CDC about what was done with this data and assurances that our government will stop warrantless tracking of law-abiding American citizens. They deserve transparency,” Hice continued. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Dozens Of House Republicans Demand Biden Rescue American Missionaries Abducted In Haiti)
In the letter, the lawmakers call on the CDC to answer a number of questions related to the reported purchasing of the data:
- What official(s) authorized the purchase of this data? Why was the company, SafeGraph, chosen given its controversial background?
- Why was this data purchase authorized? Are there plans to punish Americans using this data? Were Americans notified that the CDC had collected their data?
- Are there plans to continue to purchase location data of Americans from other companies? If so will Americans be notified that their location data is being tracked?
- Is the CDC still retaining this data? If so where and how is the CDC storing the data? How is this personal data being safeguarded? Do Americans need to worry that their location information could be hacked or leaked?
- Has this collected data been shared with other members of the interagency or with any private companies?
READ THE LETTER HERE:
“If this report is accurate, the CDC committed a gross violation of American’s civil liberties guaranteed under the 4th Amendment. Americans have the right to live their lives without fear of being watched by a government agency,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Republican Rep. Jody Hice Demands Answers From Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin Over Removal Of Space Force Officer)
The GOP lawmakers called on the CDC to answer all of their questions and requested documents be delivered to them no later than May 27, 2022.