Monday, May 30, 2016

New technology will now allow anti-abortion groups to target women's phones. Gee thanks science!

Courtesy of Mother Jones:

A new investigation by Rewire, a reproductive health news service, shows that anti-abortion groups are moving beyond their time-honored approaches of picketing clinics and shouting at women: Now they're going digital, thanks to a technology known as mobile geofencing that can be used to target women through smartphones. 

The technology is typically used by advertisers who want to hone in on a target audience in a specific location. Have you ever gotten an ad for Lyft or Uber right after landing at an airport in a new city? That's an example of mobile geofencing in action. 

 A Boston advertising executive named John Flynn realized the technology could be used to target women seeking an abortion, and to send information on crisis pregnancy centers and adoption agencies straight to their smartphones. Rewire reports that Flynn began marketing his presentations on the technology to anti-abortion groups such as RealOptions, a Northern California crisis pregnancy center network, and Bethany Christian Services, an evangelical adoption agency, and they quickly saw the potential. 

Flynn's technology allows a geofence to be built around Planned Parenthood clinics and other abortion facilities, so anti-abortion messages may be sent to smartphones in clinic waiting rooms.

So if this technology targets women (How do they know it's women?) that are approaching these Planned Parenthood clinics that obviously means that a number of women who are going there for birth control or a cancer screening are going to receive this spam on their phones, telling them not to abort their non-existent fetuses.

This seems incredibly intrusive especially since these "crisis pregnancy" centers are notoriously full of misinformation about abortion, birth control, and even sex itself.

I think there should be a law against this.

Maybe when Hillary Clinton is President she will pass one. (Sorry couldn't resist.)


  1. Anonymous5:04 AM

    Got an opinion the Burr-Feinstein Bill?

    "Essentially, the Burr-Feinstein legislation would mandate that all data, whether on a mobile device or held in cloud storage, be capable of being “rendered intelligible” at a court’s behest. The terms related to rendering data unintelligible, however, remain undefined. Does deleting data count as making it unintelligible? What about perfect forward secrecy, where encryption keys exist only ephemerally before being reconstituted? Is such encryption now functionally illegal?"

    "Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein released the official version of their anti-encryption bill today after a draft appeared online last week. The bill, titled the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016, would require tech firms to decrypt customers’ data at a court’s request.
    The Burr-Feinstein proposal has already faced heavy criticism from the tech and legislative communities and is not expected to get anywhere in the Senate. President Obama has also indicated that he will not support the bill, Reuters reports."
    Feinstein who obviously can't count past 42 wants all information from cell phones "saved".

    1. Anonymous5:32 PM

      The actual report DID end on page 42. Did you read it? The rest were recs and footnotes.

      I don't like everything about Sen. Feinstein, but I have called her office many times and they have always been responsive.

  2. Anonymous5:57 AM

    5:04 AM Are you suggesting that you are more qualified to be a Senator?

    1. Anonymous6:35 AM

      Not even.
      But I know a 83 page report when I read one.

    2. Anonymous5:32 PM

      6:35 - the conclusion is on page 42. The rest is addenda.

  3. Anonymous6:00 AM

    OT... I see per TMZ, Sarah got her judge job.

    Does that mean she moves out of state or did she talk them into shooting it in Alaska.

    What channel will it be on?

  4. Anonymous9:02 PM

    It's 9 pm in Wasilla. This was posted at 4 am. Still no on topic comments on this post, which is sad.


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