Examples of Abuse

Almost everyday a company or government abuses your data. Whether these abuses are intentional or the result of error, we must learn from these abuses so that we can better build tomorrow's policies and technologies. This resource is an opportunity to learn that this has all happened before, as well as a tool to query these abuses.

Please contact us if you think we are missing some key stories.


31 Mar 2021
Police in Phoenix, Arizona called leaders of a peaceful protest in October 2020 "targets" while surveilling them with drones, cameras, and vehicles. ABC15 found that police and prosecutors collaborated to charge protesters as a "criminal street gang". Although the charges were later dropped, protest
07 Apr 2021
Following the January 6 invasion of the US Capitol Building, federal law enforcement used a wide variety of surveillance technologies to track down participants, including facial recognition, licence plate readers, policy body cameras, and cellphone tracking. While many of the people being tracked
09 Apr 2021
Following the coup in Myanmar, the junta deployed Chinese CH-3A and Cailhong drones to monitor protesters and aid the military, according to a report that based its findings on images posted to social media showing low-flying drones over protests in Mandalay. CH-3A drones collect aerial surveillance
17 Apr 2021
Russian authorities are using facial recognition to track opposition protesters to their homes and arrest them, though the cameras are often turned off or "malfunctioning" when state security agents are suspected of attacks on or murders of journalists and opposition activists. The data is gathered
26 Apr 2021
A surveillance plane flown by the Florida Highway Patrol circled repeatedly over a news conference in which two civil rights lawyers announced a lawsuit against local police and demanded a federal investigation into the killing of two unarmed black teenagers. Publicly available flight data confirmed
05 May 2021
Documents acquired under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 reveal that staff and student protests against cuts at the University of Sydney were surveilled by both the university administration and police, who have been widely criticised for using excessive force at education
22 Feb 2022
In December 2019, a Brazilian public security programme, called the Integrated Border Operations Center (CIOF) was presented. The CIOF aims to combat transnational organised crime in the region of Foz do Iguaçu and the Triple Border Area1, shared by Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguy, and integrate