ICE Seeks Tech To Track Electronic Devices—Even Through Time

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement is soliciting for a cloud-based system that can geolocate devices using multiple sources, including apps.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is looking for a cloud-based subscription service that can pinpoint the exact locations of cellphones, laptops and other connected devices—even going back in time.

ICE is searching for geolocation services technology that can give an accurate location—either pinpoint or a designated polygonal area—for connected devices within a specific time window. The service should be able to identify locations going back at least two years or more.

According to a request for information posted Monday to FedBizOpps, ICE agents may use the service to locate electronic devices from geolocation data obtained through providers and applications, though it is unclear if the service could be used to pull geolocation data from confiscated devices. The service should be to pull data from numerous sources, including “Wi-Fi, Apps, Software Development Kit (SDK), Bidstream, Beacons, etc.,” and then reduce that information to a single data point.

The service and data should be cloud-based, with no information transferred to or residing on ICE networks. ICE agents should also be able to access the servers “without the need for additional hardware, middleware or software installation,” according to the RFI.

ICE officials want to ensure the data is accurate, as well, and included a clause requiring the vendor to clean and validate the data to account for spoofed signals, duplicate records and generally inaccurate information. 

The search results should be displayed visually within the app and have the ability for additional analytics and forensics through the web portal, ideally equipped with machine learning and other advanced computing techniques.

While the service will be divulging the device—and by extension, the user’s—location, as a federal agency, ICE is required to protect the user’s data, including personally identifiable information. That means the service cannot pull additional information on the device users and can only use location data if the user has enabled geolocation through the data source, such as a phone app.

Once the contract is signed, ICE contracting officers expect to purchase five log-ins to start, with the potential for up to 100 seats before the end of the contract’s life.

Vendors capable of providing this service have until 10 a.m. June 17 to submit bids.