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How politicians target you: 3,000 data points on every voter, including your phone number

Washington Post – “Our quest to find what politicians know about voters uncovered data troves with intimate information about income, debt, family, religion, gun ownership and a whole lot more…I’ve been on a crusade to find out what politicians know about me. So over the past few months, I’ve used California’s new data privacy law to force companies that specialize in collecting my personal information for campaigns to show me the data. What I learned: Privacy may be a cornerstone of American liberty, but politicians on both sides of the aisle have zero problem invading it. In fiercely competitive races, campaigns see our data as their edge. The Republican National Committee proudly told me it now has more than 3,000 data points on every voter. The Democratic National Committee said it acquires enough to understand you as a person, including unique identifiers from your phone that can be used to target ads across different apps. Politicians have long had special access to voter registration and participation data, which they use to plot strategy, run polls and coordinate volunteers. But in recent years, they’ve also begun tapping into commercial data brokers and murkier social media and smartphone tracking techniques. The scandal that erupted around Cambridge Analytica, which scraped data from Facebook while working for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, was just the tip of the iceberg…”

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