Deep Root Analytics, the conservative analytics firm hired by the Republican National Committee, confirmed in a statement on Monday that personal information for over 198 million American voters was exposed this month. Deep Root Analytics had stored 25 terabytes (TB) of data stored in the cloud (on an unsecured Amazon server) of which 1.1TB were available for harvesting by anyone who found the links. The leak contains a heap of personal information on nearly 61% of the US population.
What was exposed?
The better question might be, what wasn’t? Everything from home addresses, birth dates, phone numbers to name a few. The server also contained data from conservative research firm TargetPoint, which helps candidates understand voter behavior such as their views on gun ownership, abortion, stem cell research, as well as suspected religious affiliation and ethnicity.
What are the ramifications?
First and foremost, understand that the age of big data is upon us. Because of the personal information they contain, these databases can also be useful in identity theft schemes. Furthermore, this access to this data is what political campaigns lust after and will spend millions of dollars to obtain. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in now, folks.