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HomeAll Ch00 Ch00 NewsMillions of Americans Were Assigned ‘COVID-19 Violation’ Scores Based on Cellphone Data...

Millions of Americans Were Assigned ‘COVID-19 Violation’ Scores Based on Cellphone Data Collected During Lockdowns

A voter analytics firm harvested data from millions of Americans’ cellphones during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns and used the data to assign phone users a “COVID-19 decree violation” score and a “COVID-19 concern” score, according to a whitepaper released by PredictWise, the firm that harvested the data.

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he data, derived from “nearly 2 billion GPS pings” stemming from “ground truth, real-time, ultra-granular location patterns,” according to PredictWise, was then used to target election-related messages to voters during the 2020 election season.

According to PredictWise, the firm “understood that there were potential pockets of voters to target with COVID-19 messaging and turned high-dimensional data covering over 100 million Americans into measures of adherence to COVID-19 restrictions during deep lockdown.”

The data was collected with political purposes in mind, PredictWise said:

“It doesn’t take a data scientist to know that COVID-19 was going to play a major role in the 2020 election.

“This once in a lifetime pandemic took control of the political debate, our airways, and ultimately our lives.”

 

Republican voters were specifically targeted based on the data that was collected:

“PredictWise targeted Republicans who scored high on our measure of COVID-19 decree violation (folks who were on the go more often than their neighbors) and Republicans who scored low on our measure of COVID-19 decree violation (folks who mostly or always stayed at home) in the swing state, Ohio, and asked survey questions.”

 

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