May 30, 2019

New paper by Hunt and Velch makes the case for modernizing voter data privacy laws

By Jacqueline Isaacs

A new policy paper, originally published by Protego Press, makes the case for modernizing voter data privacy laws in the digital age. Rainey Center co-founder and CEO Sarah Hunt, along with associate fellow Dr. Veronika Velch, examine voter privacy issues in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

They found that Canadian political parties were using door-to-door canvassers to document details about people's personal lives based on objects in their homes. In the United Kingdom, parties bought data without conducting due diligence on how it was collected. Right here in the United States, Cambridge Analytica is accused of using an innocent-looking online personality test to harvest voter data ahead of the 2016 election.

Hunt and Velch write:

Personal data about individuals in several countries is being bought and sold as a commodity without the individuals’ knowledge or consent. In many cases, this violates national election law. In every case, it violates the ethical norms of privacy and informed consent.

Access the policy paper here: The Future of Data Privacy?

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