200M vot­ers ex­posed by GOP e-firm

New York Post - - NEWS - Mark Moore re

In­for­ma­tion on nearly 200 mil­lion vot­ers in a Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee data­base was ex­posed af­ter a pri­vate con­trac­tor left doc­u­ments on a pub­licly ac­ces­si­ble server.

“We take full re­spon­si­bil­ity for this sit­u­a­tion,” the con­trac­tor, Deep Root An­a­lyt­ics, told tech-news site Giz­modo in a state­ment on Mon­day.

The in­for­ma­tion gath­ered on 198 mil­lion vot­ers in­cluded home ad­dresses, birth dates and phone num­bers, as well as an “RNC ID” that could be used to view a pro­file of a par­tic­u­lar voter’s likely po­si­tion on key is­sues.

The data were kept on an Ama­zon cloud ac­count that could be ac­cessed with­out a pass­word.

Deep Root’s in­for­ma­tion was col­lected from a num­ber of sources, in­clud­ing Web sites, po­lit­i­cal-ac­tion com­mit­tees and the RNC, and shared with Deep Root.

A cy­ber-risk an­a­lyst for Up-Guard dis­cov­ered the on­line data last week. The doc­u­ments have since been se­cured.

Deep Root, which crunches vot- er-trend data for po­lit­i­cal ads, was paid $983,000 by the RNC be­tween Jan­uary 2015 and Novem­ber 2016, ac­cord­ing to Ad Age.

“[Deep Root] builds voter mod­els to help en­hance ad­ver­tiser un­der­stand­ing of TV view­er­ship. The data ac­cessed was not built for used by any spe­cific client. It is our pro­pri­etary anal- ysis to help in­form lo­cal tele­vi­sion ad buy­ing,” the con­trac- tor said.

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