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Midterm elections: How politicians know exactly how you’re going to vote
Here's what happens to your information after you fill out a voter registration form. 👉 i360, a firm owned by the Koch brothers, has a tool called Issue Cluster Model. cnet.com/google-amp/new…
During the 2017-18 election cycle, i360 raked in $3.4 million from campaigns, according to Federal Election Commission records obtained by Open Secrets, a nonprofit and nonpartisan group that tracks the effect of money and lobbying on elections and public policy.
Some of i360's bigger clients include the Republican Party of Massachusetts, the campaign of Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker and Arizona Grassroots Action, a Republican PAC, according to Open Secrets.
i360 partners with social media and technology companies to deliver tailored ads to individuals, according to its website. It also partners with D2 Media Sales, a joint venture between DirectTV and Dish, to push TV ads to specific households that meet a candidate's criteria-
-“no matter which stations or programs they're watching." This means some audiences see a specifically tailored political message.
Besides targeted advertising, i360 offers Walk, an app that directs door-to-door campaign volunteers in real time, letting them see who lives in a specific house and what household information is available about the residents.
The data firm also offers tools to help political campaigns make robocalls and send text messages. In addition, it can target specific users on Facebook.
Alan Mislove, a professor at Northeastern University, found that you can target a specific individual for an ad.
Advertisers can upload a list of 15 different fields on Facebook's advertising platform -- phone number, name, date of birth, address and more -- and the social network then matches that information against its user base of more than 2 billion people.
If your information matches, you become part of that audience, Mislove said. Facebook will tell advertisers how many users they've matched, but it doesn't provide those users' names.
Is all of this legal?
Have you clicked on "Accept" or "Continue" when you see a cookie notification on a website?
Then yes, this is all legal.
When it comes to voter data, however, some states specify that it can't be used for commercial purposes. Still, a lot of data firms can get their hands on voter information and profit.
Virginia-based political campaign and robocalling company RoboCent left hundreds of thousands of voter records online without protection, according to ZDNet.
A RoboCent spokesperson told CNET in July that the company partners with data firms NationBuilder, Aristotle and i360 for voter data.
Aristotle received over $3 million, with top clients like the campaigns of California Rep. Devin Nunes and New York Rep. Eliot Engel, as well as Argentum Silver PAC, a nonpartisan organization promoting issues for seniors.
NationBuilder received more than $1 million, from political entities including Donald J. Trump for President, Prosperity Action and the Republican Party of Tennessee.
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