Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Bounty hunters, licensing, and cellphone location data

The Seattle Times has a disturbing article about a little-regulated private enterprise part of the criminal justice system in many American states--the bounty hunters who work with bail bondsmen:

Lax Washington oversight of bounty hunters sets stage for mayhem, tragedy
(The url gives an alternative headline: .)

"Formally known as bail-bond recovery agents, bounty hunters frequently carry firearms and have the right to forcibly enter homes and apprehend people who jump bail.

"Yet getting a license is relatively easy, and hardly anyone is turned away — even if they have a history of violence, a Seattle Times investigation has found.
"The lax requirements for bounty hunters are at odds with the weapons and tactics the agents are allowed to use. To get a license, an applicant must take 32 hours of training, which can include self-study, and must pass a 50-question, multiple-choice exam. The state has no formalized curriculum or certification process for instructors. Only the person teaching the firearms portion of the training is required to be certified through the state.

"By comparison, to get a license to perform manicures and style hair, a cosmetologist must receive 1,600 hours of training from a state-approved and licensed instructor."

I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone
T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are selling access to their customers’ location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country.

Ajit Pai Refuses to Brief Congress About Why Bounty Hunters Can Buy Cell Phone Location Data
The Chairman's staff said the selling of location data is not a 'threat to the safety of human life or property that the FCC will address during the Trump shutdown.'

No comments: