Thursday, April 12, 2018

2012 Political Data-Mining: "groundbreaking"

2012 Presidential Campaign Data-Mining Via Facebook
Considered "genius" by some, the privacy intrusions into the lives of Facebook users during the 2012 presidential campaign appears to have been no less than in the 2016 campaign. Facebook's current situation may be "existential" -- and thought by some to not be a problem -- for the social media giant. However, being in a symbiotic position with a presidential campaign that is politically weaponizing the data-mining of users and friends may warrant more prescriptive considerations.

(Excerpt) "In 2012, the Obama campaign encouraged supporters to download an Obama 2012 Facebook app that, when activated, let the campaign collect Facebook data both on users and their friends.

According to a July 2012 MIT Technology Review article, when you installed the app, 'it said it would grab information about my friends: their birth dates, locations, and 'likes'.'

The campaign boasted that more than a million people downloaded the app, which, given an average friend-list size of 190, means that as many as 190 million had at least some of their Facebook data vacuumed up by the Obama campaign — without their knowledge or consent...

This Facebook treasure trove gave Obama an unprecedented ability to reach out to nonsupporters. More important, the campaign could deliver carefully targeted campaign messages disguised as messages from friends to millions of Facebook users...

According to a Time magazine account just after Obama won re-election, 'the team blitzed the supporters who had signed up for the app with requests to share specific online content with specific friends simply by clicking a button.'

The effort was called a 'game-changer' in the 2012 election, and the Obama campaign boasted that it was 'the most groundbreaking piece of technology developed for the campaign.'"

One hopes that there will be no further erosion of individual privacy or security and that even-mindedness will prevail in current congressional deliberations on this issue -- also clearly present in the 2012 presidential election.

On Topic:
Members of Congress publicly question Zuckerberg, April 2018


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