Steve Bannon used location targeting to reach voters who had been in Catholic churches

In 2018, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon used location data from smartphones to address church goers with voting announcements, according to a new report from ThinkProgress Friday.

"We" are sending a message from CatholicVote, not to go vote for a specific type, "Bannon said." But for all Catholics to go out and do their duty, they will do something to support President Trump. "

The award came from a scene now removed from The Brink a documentary by Alison Klayman that focuses on Bannon's efforts to mobilize the far right throughout the mid-term elections of 2018 In an interview with Klayman, Bannon says he worked with the conservative CatholicVote group to use the location data obtained from the carriers to direct ads to people who had recently been to Roman Catholic churches in Dubuque, Iowa.

"If your The phone was once in a Catholic church, it's amazing, they got this information, "Bannon reportedly reported." Literally, you can tell who has been in a Catholic church and with how often, "Bannon added. "And they tried it."

When asked how he received the data, Bannon told Klayman, "the telephone companies." He continued, "and the data types sell it."

In recent years it has been no secret that advertisers were buying location data from operators. In 2017, the state of Massachusetts was established with a company called Copley Advertising after it helped anti-abortion groups use geo-fencing to target women who had recently visited the Planned Parenthood clinics. In January, Motherboard reported that he was able to pay a bounty hunter about two hundred dollars to track a target just a few blocks from his actual location.

After the report emerged, Congress approached the Federal Communications Commission requesting an explanation as to why operators could sell data to brokers without any recourse. According to Ajit Pai, the agency had been investigating the sale of location data for some time, but the FCC has not yet submitted any report or finding as part of that investigation.

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