"The Apps For Ireland's Anti-Abortion Campaigns Allow User Data To Be Shared With The NRA"
"Ireland's two largest anti-abortion campaigns are facing questions over privacy after a BuzzFeed News analysis found that personal user data gathered by both of their apps can be shared with an international network of conservative and religious groups that includes the US National Rifle Association.
The Save the 8th campaign and the LoveBoth Project are at the forefront of the campaign to prevent the repeal of the Eighth Amendment of Ireland's constitution – which makes abortion illegal in most cases – when the country votes in a referendum this Friday.
Both have launched activist community apps to encourage supporters to digitally organise their contact networks to vote against repeal.
Save the 8th's My8 app and the LoveBoth app were developed by the same Washington, DC–based company, Political Social Media LLC, which specialises in building digital campaigning tools for conservative, religious, and anti-abortion groups..."
"...Privacy policies linked from the iTunes store page for both apps state that as well as sharing personal information with third-party campaigns selected by users from within the apps, uCampaign and Jarbik "may share your personal information with other organizations, groups, causes, campaigns, political organizations, and our clients that we believe have similar viewpoints, principles or objectives as us".
This means data can be shared not just between the two ostensibly separate Irish anti-abortion groups, but also with previous clients such as the NRA, the Trump presidential campaign, the Republican National Committee, and the Susan B. Anthony List, a major US anti-abortion group. In the UK, the network includes the Conservative Party and main pro-Brexit campaign, Vote Leave.
The company has also developed apps for the Australian Christian Lobby and Marriage Alliance, two groups that campaigned unsuccessfully against marriage equality when the country voted on the issue in a postal survey last November.
BuzzFeed News asked uCampaign, LoveBoth, and Save the 8th multiple times whether data collected using the individual apps had been shared between the two campaigns or with any of these other groups, but received no response from any of them."
Author: Laura Silver
Publication: Buzzfeed News
Publication date: 22 May 2018