Amidst the on-going investigations of interference in the 2016 presidential elections and massive hacking of American entities by the Russians, a huge development comes out of the cyber securities community. UpGuard cyber risk analyst Chris Vickery, who is known to have discovered other massive collections of unsecured voter data, revealed the presence of an unsecured and entirely exposed database of profiles for over 198 million American voters from the 2016 electoral cycle on a publically accessible Amazon Web Services ran by a firm hired by the Republican National Convention, per an article published on UpGuard’s website.
The release details that over 1.1 terabytes (1,100 gigabytes) worth of data compiled by Deep Root Analytics, TargetPoint Consulting, and Data Trust, all firms that were hired by the Republican party to assist in a $100 million data operation centered around learning more about registered voters, better understanding how to lure leaning Democrats and wavering Republicans to vote favorably and making better-informed decisions when purchasing advertising on television. Here’s a deeper explanation by UpGuard into how detailed the leaked information truly is:
Starting with the potential voter’s first and last names—limiting even the barest possibility of the data sets masking the identities of those described—the files go onto list a a great deal more data, including the voter’s date of birth, home and mailing addresses, phone number, registered party, self-reported racial demographic, voter registration status, and even whether they are on the federal “Do Not Call” list.
Vickery’s discovery even uncovered “modeled ethnicities and religions” for all the voters that were found in the records, something that’s not asked for on voter forms in any state and has long been a controversial topic in the data collection world.
Vickery will be holding a Q&A on UpGuard’s official website on July 27th at 1:00PM EST for anyone looking to learn more about this massive development into the state of privacy in our country and the protection of the democratic process.