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Pro-Trump group targets Catholic voters using cell phone technology

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Pro-Trump group targets Catholic voters using cell phone technology

Photo caption:  Voters cast their ballots to vote in state and local elections Nov. 5, 2019, at Robious Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia. … (CNS photo/Ryan M. Kelly, Reuters)

The next time you go to church, you might want to turn off your phone. Political marketers are using cellphone data from churchgoers to target the GOP base, especially white Catholic and evangelicals in key states for the 2020 presidential election.

The practice is called “geofencing,” and it has become affordable and common, as retailers track shoppers at malls and political consultants harvest information from cell phones at demonstrations. It has now moved into Catholic churches, with the prize being information on Republican-trending Mass-goers.

Here’s how it works: Politically-minded geofencers capture data from the cellphones of churchgoers, and then purchase ads targeting those devices. […]

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