Progressives Are Tracking the Smartphone Location Data of Lockdown Protesters

Protestors demonstrate against new safer-at-home orders during the End the Lockdown Now rally at the Colorado Capital in Denver, Colorado on April 26, 2020. - Stay-at-home orders have been in place throughout the US to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus, and has led to a week of …
JASON CONNOLLY/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

Progressive activists are using cellphone location data to track the movements of anti-lockdown protesters, and are passing on that data to left-wing journalists.

A buried lede in a story in the left-wing British newspaper the Guardian reveals the ongoing practice (emphasis ours):

Cellphone location data suggests that demonstrators at anti-lockdown protests – some of which have been connected with Covid-19 cases – are often traveling hundreds of miles to events, returning to all parts of their states, and even crossing into neighboring ones.

The data, provided to the Guardian by the progressive campaign group the Committee to Protect Medicare, raises the prospect that the protests will play a role in spreading the coronavirus epidemic to areas which have, so far, experienced relatively few infections.

What this means is that progressives groups are able to use so-called “anonymized” data to pinpoint the location of attendees of anti-lockdown protesters, many of whom are conservatives.

According to the Guardian’s report, progressives were able to obtain the location data via third-party apps that allowed opt-in data collection.

The anonymized location data was captured from opt-in cellphone apps, and data scientists at the firm VoteMap used it to determine the movements of devices present at protests in late April and early May in five states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado and Florida.

Virtually every app downloaded onto your smartphone will ask to collect location data, often without clearly disclosing where that data will be sent.

For a list of apps that have access to your location data, as well as options to switch off data-sharing, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services on Apple iPhones.

On Android devices, you can turn off location data for all apps via Settings > Security & Location.

To switch off location data for individual Android apps, go to Settings > Apps & Notifications, and then select the app whose location data access you wish to disable. To view the option to disable location data, tap the desired app and then select “permissions.”

Are you an insider at Google, Facebook, Twitter, or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.


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