Sources who work with Venntel gave Motherboard more insight into the type of data the government now has its hands on.
Venntel's technology only gives anonymized data, meaning it does not identify specific people or phone numbers. It gives only a randomized identification number. BUT there is an easy way to identify the owners of the phone.
The technology allows the CBP to draw a perimeter around a geographical area, and obtain the location data for any phones in that area. In this way, CBP could draw a circle around one particular home, acquire the data from it, and surmise that the few devices in that home belong to the homeowners.
What this means:
This allows Customs and Border Protection to ignore laws that require them to obtain a warrant before surveilling particular subjects. They simply purchase the data, instead of having to show probable cause that a crime has been committed.
And keep in mind that CBP does not just target immi'It's just a question of, one, is it ethical, and two, does that open up the information to being released elsewhere?,'grants. They recently flew their surveillance drones over cities outside the border zone to help other local and federal law enforcement agencies identify and monitor protesters. Of course, CBP is being tight lipped about what exactly the Venntel software will be used for.