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Linked: Political groups use “deeply spooky” protester location data, report finds

Gone to a protest lately? Seen a lot of advertising about voting, or BLM, or related subjects since then? That’s no coincidence.

“Jason Berlin, founder of a voter-registration group called Field Team 6, told the WSJ that such location-based tactics are “deeply spooky yet extremely helpful.” Field Team 6 uses Facebook to deliver targeted advertising to users whose devices were near recent protests in Detroit, Houston, Raleigh, and Tallahassee. “We’re actively looking at where the protests are popping up and then readjusting our targets,” Berlin explained to the WSJ.”

When you hang out at a protest site, your phone knows you were there, which we may be used to. But, your phone also connects to nearby cell towers, to get service, and so you can send those tweets and Instagram posts. The phone companies have that log of who hit the cell tower during a protest, and just by having your phone on, it connected that that tower. They know you were there too. Or, at least, that your phone was.

They are free to sell that data to anyone with cash, who can take that phone data and connect it to the cell phone data Facebook and other tools have to target you with messages and advertisements.

That’s reality. Whether you like it or not. No matter how you may feel about law enforcement or government tracking you, know that they are just the tip of the iceberg. Your presence at that protest is being tracked by lots of people.


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