Political Campaigns Mine Personal Data


National Public Radio’s On The Media had a fascinating story this weekend about the mining of personal information for the use in political campaigns.

The above the fold story in The New York Times on the same topic today delves further into this matter that, as NPR commented, needs to be further reported on by the media.

Since there is ample coverage this weekend I would like readers to consider the following report.

“[C]onsultants to both campaigns said they had bought demographic data from companies that study details like voters’ shopping histories, gambling tendencies, interest in get-rich-quick schemes, dating preferences and financial problems. The campaigns themselves, according to campaign employees, have examined voters’ online exchanges and social networks to see what they care about and whom they know. They have also authorized tests to see if, say, a phone call from a distant cousin or a new friend would be more likely to prompt the urge to cast a ballot. The campaigns have planted software known as cookies on voters’ computers to see if they frequent evangelical or erotic Web sites for clues to their moral perspectives. Voters who visit religious Web sites might be greeted with religion-friendly messages when they return to mittromney.com or barackobama.com.

 

 

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