The Main Revelation from the GOP Data Firm’s Leak? Political Data Is Vastly Overvalued.

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Media Outlet: Slate

Josephine Wolff wrote for Slate on the data leakage from Deep Root Analytics, the firm that compiled voter data for the Republican National Committee: 

The obvious lesson to draw from Deep Root’s exposure is that it’s unwise to post personal data on a public-facing web server. But there also a broader lesson about how the world has come to see data these days, that reveals just how desperate politicians and campaigns are for data and what a glut of worthless data there is being sold and resold across the political world. Rather than making political data analytics seem like a serious or sophisticated undertaking to effectively target individual voters, Deep Root’s data breach and what it revealed is behind the curtain makes these analytics companies look like a largely haphazard operation in which everyone is falling over themselves to buy data of any variety—the more the better—regardless of its value.

Author:

Josephine Wolff was a Class of 2016 & 2017 Cybersecurity Initiative Fellow at New America, where she will write a book about cybersecurity incidents from the last decade, tracing their economic and legal aftermath and their impact on the current state of technical, social, and political lines of defense.