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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  November 16, 2014 7:00pm-7:31pm EST

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you might not know it or like it, but you are being watched almost all the time. >> they know more about you than you know about you. monitored. >> don't put personnel information out there. there's people that eat that up. >> this is an american tonight special investigation - your secret's out." >> i'm julie chen, it's no exaggeration it say we live in a state that is traceable. we look at the consequences of all the prying eyes. from corporate america profiting
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off personal data to predators tracking chin online. "america tonight" can't michael oku. >> reporter: where you shop, what you buy, how old your children or are whether you drink too much. you would think it's private information. you would be wrong. the personal details are being collected, categorized and brokers. >> the biggest business is gatherin gathering gathering tremendous amounts of data. >> brian collect data for his blog. he said brokers hold the key to the king dom. >> they know what i buy, whether it's underwear, shoes, cars, houses. >> they know in some cases more about me than friends and relatives do.
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they know more about you than you do. >> reporter: at the world's largest information security conference in san francisco, the buzz was all about keeping your data safe from malware, spambots and other threats. pam dix job, the executive director of the forum says the real threat is not what hackers and thieves can steal, but what we hand over about ourselves free. >> the guys are good at keeping threats away. it doesn't mean companies can't will. >> all that gets pushed into a big giant information soup, and what comes out at the other end is the profiling of individual consumers. self-improvement and health wellness offers. >> at a san diego office, dixon
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showed us the profiles and left that manynd up on. >> here is a list that assess alcohol drinkers, adult. do i really want my name on this drinker. >> reporter: dixon says scores of lifts are for sale. >> i see everything from dry sores. >> reporter: data brokers are not just getting customer information, they mine public records and monitor the mostings on meed cax the profiles are a precious commodity, as good as kneeled for the brokers and the client they sell them to. >> they know this about me and categorise this to make it easier to sell me more stuff? >> to sell your profile to people who want to sell you more stuff, exactly.
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>> reporter: pam dixon believes if the result of this profiling was targeted in better ads there would be no reason for concern. that is not what she's worried b. >> if you are a maim yore employer or -- major emmore or health plan -- employer or health plan, you can purchase the list. e.d you don't know that employers purchase the lists, >>. >> that is correct. this is outside regulation . can't. >> "america tonight" contacted exact data. without acting us why we needed them they agreed to sell us lists. the names, homes and email addresses of people who use online dating services. gamlers and sufferers of erectile dysfunction.
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we decided not to buy the lists, the name are not real. for $4500, al jazeera america could have purchased private information about tens of thousands of unsuspecting individuals, access that some fear could be bought by anyone. rachel is a chief lobby yist for a group representing data brokers. her job to push against the critics. people say data is not fair. >> nothing further from the truth. we had a self-regulated code. there's an incredible amount of self-regulation going on. >> are you aware of exact data in chicago? >> not off the top of my head. >> you wouldn't know if they are a member of the dma. >> not off the top of my head. >> we called exact data and they
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offered to sell us lists of all kinds of private - what many members of the public would consider sensitive. >> i can't speak to that situation, but i think there's more to the story. in a case where marketing data is being sold and purchased and transferred between companies. our code of ethics say you can only share the information, it can only be purchased for marketing purposes. >> reporter: it doesn't always happen that way. take espilion, a giant in the business, the holder of credit and marketing data. in a maim scror lapse, that brian crabb reported, an identity thief in vietnam gained access to a dater base containing personal information from 200 million americans from a company opened by
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xpirion. >> it was selling information, they claim unknowingly, i'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt to an individual who said he was a u.s. based private investigator. they refused op on-air interview but said: to brian crabbs, the indoor question razes questions. >> it's a recipe for disaster when an organization with almost no accountability collects sensitive and voluminous information on people. when they have a security incident that jeopardizes the security of that information,
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consequences. >> a company is attempting to answer critics concerns. in an industry first data broker axiom launched about the which let's you see what it knows about you. we found out what they know about me. >> i see your date of birth, male, african american, completed graduate school. you are married with a child, 7. >> wow. >> it's disconcerting. >> they want other data brokers to follow axiom's lead and be transparent about what they to. >> i want to make sure that if there is some kind of information out there on any list, that a consumer has the right to say to a data broker "i want off the list." >> next up, the police have a controversial new tool to watch criminals, but it's watching everywhere else. your secret's out when we return.
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this is a "america tonight" special investigation - your secret's out.
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this is an american tonight special investigation. it's been hailed as a crime-fighting tool. critics say it's unconstitutional. chances are if you drive a police camera has your number, and can track your every move. adam may, "america tonight" correspondent, with the story. >> reporter: hillary has been a licensed private investigate junior in minnesota for 15 years. last year a shocking discovery when the tables turned on her. >> it came out of the blue. john and i received separate letters saying an individual from the dnr accessed our
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driver's licence information and has been terminated. >> john hunt at the minnesota government department accessed thousands of licence, mostly women. said. >> it opened a can of warms. >> pandora's box. >> reporter: she and husband john, a private eye, requested an audit of who else looked up their private data. they got back stacks of records. >> all the cities that looked up our information. the city we lived in. the amount of times our private information was accessed. >> reporter: what did you find out? >> we had numb rouse. >> queries. >> how many? 1400. >> 1400. >> yes. >> they looked up your information 1400 times.
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do you have any idea why? >> that's what we want to know. >> they discovered a spike in activity when hillary was featured on the local paper's front page. in a matter of days law enforce agents and someone at the post office looked up her dmv. >> a pretty girl. >> they want to know where i live. that scarce -- scares me. i have kids. >> reporter: is it uncomfortable living here? >> yes. i think that - we don't know how far it will go. >> you feel like you are being monitored. >> they were unwitting victims of a widespread case of data abuse in the state's history. they were not alone. an ex-police officer, a former police union lawyer, and the local news anchor had hundreds of unusual inquiries.
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>> we paid out tens of millions in the last five years because of representatives of government data. >> john is a representative in the state legislature. in the wake of these stories a state audit found half of the law enforcement employees were likely accessing state data bases for questionable reasons and what worries him is new surveillance technology called a.l.p.r., or automotive licence plate readers. >> this technology allowed law enforcement to do something different which is essentially dragnet the population. >> reporter: mounted in public places or on law enforcement vehiclesing. they scan the licence plate of every car that passes. each device cans each plate against a hot list of stolen cars or wanted people.
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data from a.l.p.r. devices, including photos, a time stamp and location is retaineded in thousands of databases across the country and shared by various agencies and sold to private companies, with little or no regulation. he says it's unconstitutional. >> if you don't have a probable cause against as citizen or individual, why are you keeping data. there's no reason to do it. >> use of al pr has interaffed. >> jennifer limp, a lawyer with the electronic frontier foundation says with a.l.p.r. affordable. >> it has a position to collect data on a scale we have not soon. in los angeles, the l.a.p.d. has 250 squad cars equipped with cameras, and 35 satisfactionry cameras.
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each records up to 1800 plates per minute with a capacity to collect data, they are very, very large. >> large and according to limp pay to invasive. >> if a licence plate camera pecks up the licence plate many team during the book, it pinpoints the location, charting the pathway through loif. that reveals spsive information, telling who you associate with, which doctor you go to, whether you sleep in a different house. >> north of st. paul, the ramsay country sheriff's office purchased their first mobile al pr. we went along for a test stin. >> what is picking up the plate. >> we'll do one more row. >> there we go. >> we have an alert. i run the plate. >> reporter: this time it was a false alarm.
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inspector rob aljp says he -- alan says he saw a.l.p.r. work when he was the deputy chief of police in minnesota. >> reporter: give me a list of some crimes solved using a.l.p.r. >> i saw autotheft, homicide, stalking. it provided proof that stalking suspect had been in the area of times. >> reporter: is there a question in your mind that this safe. >> there's no question it helps police keep communities safer. >> in the wrong hands it can show intimate secrets. >> people could anction access it for different reasons. >> melissa is a bloggist and activist. she wanted to give police a taste of their method.
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there's app icevehicle parking in this area. the a.l.p.r. database used to be public. hill searched for unmarked law enforcement by official buildings, rap the lates and posted what she found on the website. minnesota worried she'd reveal undercover operations. >> they mentioned by blog and my name saying be careful parking in public areas because i was taking photos. i got the sense that the city was not comfortable with people tracking their voogss. >> after, the city made a.l.p.r. data private. >> turns out the trackers do not like being tracked. but it doesn't stop them tracking the rest of us. when this "america tonight" investigation continues...
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>> kidnapping is tremendously easy. stealing easy. how to make sure this never ever happens to your kids online. this is an "america tonight" special investigation - your secret's out.
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>> watch more "faultlines" on demand or visit >> announcer: this is an
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"america tonight" special investigation - your secret is out. guess who is monitoring your social media - not just corporate america, but sexual predators. michael oku shows us how it happens and how to stop it. >> what is worse than raising a child for 15 years and in a second knowing you'll never see her again. >> reporter: not much scarce daniel. -- scares daniel. when we caught up with him he tubing us to a place he had the most frightening experience of his life. >> my heart went through the gamut of emotions. he discovered the ipad of his youngest daughter shell by opened to a cat with a disadvantager. he tracked -- stranger. he tracked her to this apartment complex and found her and a forehand with an older man they
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met on a social media website. i saw the conversation and it turned into "hey, how are you doing", to sexual favors. >> reporter: she made it clear in those conversations that you read that she was 15. >> yes. >> reporter: and his reply was that was okay. >> that's cool. it's all good. at that point i couldn't see straight. the tablet was melting from the fire coming out of my eyes. >> reporter: he raced to the apartment complex, lights flashing aring hoping to attract the attention of police. >> at that light there was a glendale police officer stopped at the red light. i said she's rite up this, we need to go. he turned the light on and followed me. >> the girls were swimming in this pool as the man watched. >> carefree, swimming along. >> reporter: shell by says her friend convinced her and did not realise she was in danger until she got out of the water.
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i picked up the phone. dad had called me a lot of times, i thought "this can't be good." the man fled when shell by told him that her dad was coming. meet, the social website, has been used by predators in numerous child sexual assault cases. in june a massachusetts man pled guilty to charges that he used the site to trick teenage girls into sending him naked photos, then blackmailed them into having sex with him. last year in california peninsula, oklahoma and new mexico meet me user were charged with having sex with girls as young as 12. >> after thinking about it, he could have locked us in his car and driven god knows where. >> prosecutors say the site is a powerful tool for predators, because it allows them to gee
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scro locate unsuspecting users. or, in other words, to tlack them. >> it told you within feet how many - like how far you were from people. >> within feet? >> yes. >> it's become an app for choice for sexual predators and criminals to track young people. >> dennis it the city attorney of san francisco. he's suing meet me under california's unfair competition law, trying to force the company to change a concept policy. >> kids get on there. they don't know when they sign on, that they are giving up privacy of personal information and gee scro location data. on the other hand you have individuals above the age of 18 who sign up and say they are between the age of 13 and 17, with no age verification and they can gain access to the profiles of young people. >> meet me
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declined an interview with america together but said: it's easy to receipt information. we created an account and set the profile to 13-year-old boy, added a picture of mickey mouse and we were in. >> kidnapping is tremendously easy. stealing kids' identities is tremendously easy. >> this is a computer hacker. organiser of one of the world's largest annual hacker conventions. she is so concerned about online privacy that she's an advocate. >> people would be shocked how ease why and how often your private communications are
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strangers. >> she wears sunglasses on camera to minimize someone tracing her image online. talks. >> it's a metal came. when i put my phone in it. no wi-fi will go in and out. >> when you are not using it, you can be hacked by somebody. >> yes. >> reporter: who specifically is doing that? we heard. n.s.a. is that who you have in mind? >> no, the n.s.a. is the tip of the ice brg. surveillance is mainstream. this is the thing we can teach the kids to do in half an hour. >> reporter: the kids are the young participants in a conference founded called roots. featured at the hacker convention death con. >> what we try to do with the kids is do things like let me
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though you how to eaves drop on someone's phone call and lip to text messages, let me show you how to black into facebook and others, show you how to turn on the interfacing camera, the data we can buy on others. >> you don't think it's a dangerous road to lead them op. >> no, because yes change their behavior. you can't make kids behave well online. they will run from it. you say do you want me to say how stupid the other people are for being online. look how easily i could own them. that's a good one. it's sending. you september a top-secret encysted message. she is teaching her 4-year-old to protect herself online by using a messaging app that sal created called wicker. sending self-destructing messages and has a million users.
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>> i definitely deploy an attitude of download very, very few apps and check them out and the founders and how they make money closely, before i let the kids cues anything. >> now, daniel is doing the same. he's more vige lant than ever about monitoring what his daughters do on lip. instagram? >> no. >> reporter: what would you tell other kid about what they ought to be doing about protecting privacy online? >> don't put your personal information out there. there's people that will eat it up. how to strike the right balance between privacy and public safety, freedom to roam the internet and prying eyes. it is an ongoing mart that we'll follow. this is an "america tonight" special investigation - your
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secret's out. s crimes on campus one year later. >> i remember waking up, he was kissing me, before i knew it, he was trying to have sex with me. i told him no and to stop. >> her school's reaction, her story, and what has changed on campus. also ahead - his side. >> i walked up, i looked and job said "mum, i'm gone." they've expelled me. >> no judge or evidence. the fierce backlash as campuses face more sex assault claims. >> we have seasoned litigators, who said this is not how you resolve a problem as severe as sexual assault. >> and when the victim is a child, and the shocking
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response. >> she went to the band teacher on the day it happened. there was seemen on her shirt and said "i have been raped", he said "go confront your attacker." >> an "america tonight" special investigation "sex crimes on campus." >> good evening and welcome. we began to talk about this issue a year ago. an indepth focus into exposed sex crimes on campus, we were surprised to learn how common these are, student on student and friend on friend. the white house is shocked and after the series launched an initiative led by vice president joe biden. tonight we head back to campus to see the process