GOP voting data firm leaks 200 million people’s personal information

Data containing the personal information and ideological preferences of 198 million U.S. citizens gathered by a conservative political consulting firm that worked with the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign was compromised this month, Gizmodo reports.

Deep Root Analytics accidentally made the data available on a publicly accessible Amazon server for 12 days. The exposed information, which formed the backbone for Trump’s data operation, includes home addresses, dates of birth, party affiliations, religious backgrounds, ethnic identities, public polling data, Reddit usage history, and more. UpGuard, the cyber resilience startup that discovered the trove, calls it “perhaps the largest known exposure of voter information in history.” The company describes the leak as “troubling.”

UpGuard journalist Dan O’Sullivan writes:

This exposure raises significant questions about the privacy and security Americans can expect for their most privileged information. It also comes at a time when the integrity of the US electoral process has been tested by a series of cyber assaults against state voter databases, sparking concern that cyber risk could increasingly pose a threat to our most important democratic and governmental institutions.

That such an enormous national database could be created and hosted online, missing even the simplest of protections against the data being publicly accessible, is troubling. The ability to collect such information and store it insecurely further calls into question the responsibilities owed by private corporations and political campaigns to those citizens targeted by increasingly high-powered data analytics operations.

What is beyond debate in 2017 is the increasing inability to trust in the integrity of information technology systems, particularly at scale.

Deep Root Analytics says its doesn’t believe any malicious third party obtained the information, but it has hired a digital forensics team to investigate. Anyone with an internet connection could have accessed the data simply by navigating to the specific Amazon domain.

Considering Facebook and Amazon probably already sold all your personal details to the Illuminati, I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about. It’s not like a hostile state is actively working to undermine our electoral process.

[Gizmodo | photo: Getty]