Facebook’s data beach and 2016 election scandal could hurt other campaigns
Facebook says it now believes information from up to 87 million users, mostly in the United States, were impacted, much larger than the 50 million previously reported.
Their personal information was leaked to Cambridge Analytica, a company working for President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.
A whistleblower revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, compiled user data to target American voters.
“They are collecting data unbeknownst to you, of things that you might liked on, or passionate about, or that you hate, and they actually take a look at emotional factors that triggers some emotions through Facebook or other social media entities,” said Cheryl Blodgett, a political consultant at Keenyo Consultants.
Blodgett, who has worked for many elections, says Cambridge Analytica’s actions could hurt smaller and local campaigns that are just starting to rely on social media to raise money.
Rolando Lavarro who recently ran for re-election for city councilman in Jersey City New Jersey tells BA, he hired a social media consultant to help with their outreach and fundraising.
“I’ll use one example, we put together a video, just kind of introducing myself, and it really took off. I forgot the exact number, but it got over 13,000 views.”
Barack Obama’s two presidential runs changed voter outreach by integrating online and door to door campaigns.
Something from Obama’s playbook is what Lavarro admits helped his team.
“Utilize that data on those voters list, it’s all public information and feed that to Facebook system, and make sure that those ads are being seen inside of that universe that’s on Facebook and in those mediums.”
Blodgett says, “If they are using data created because of certain things that you like over a period of time, or on things that you clicked on, that’s not the same as saying as yes I voted in this election, yes, I freely give you that information.”
What Cambridge Analytica did starting in early 2014 was build a system from millions of Facebook users’ personal data that it obtained.
That system then could profile individual u-s voters and target them with personalized political ads.
Meanwhile, the House oversight committee announced Wednesday that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been scheduled to testify before the panel on April 11th regarding the breach in his company’s security.