Sculpin BeauregardSculpin Beauregard's Journal
Confronting A Nightmare for Democracy:
Personal Data, Personalized Media and Weaponized Propaganda.
In the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit referendum and US presidential election, much has been written about how personal data was used to target voters with advertisements and other messages over social media. Weve since learned that actors both foreign and domestic employed information operations, computational propaganda, and cyberattacks weaponizing our commercial media infrastructure. The question at hand is whether our democratic process can endure a hyper-personalized data-driven media and propaganda environment that our founders could never have imagined.
Financed by the elusive hedge funder, mega-donor, and computer scientist Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica (part of the British firm SCL Group Ltd.) constructed a significant data set based on US voter rolls. These were legally acquired as a function of working on the Cruz and Trump campaigns. Informed in part by information derived from Facebook and then enriched with commercial data through brokers, our voter dossiers were sold to the Trump campaign. Controversy surrounds the donation of SCLs election management services for Brexit.
Some respected observers argue the firms psychographic profiling methodologies may not be nearly as potent as its sales pitch suggests; although evidence is emerging that its geo-targeted voter profiles with ideological modelling may have helped the Leave.EU campaign find voters with authoritarian leanings. Regardless, the firms psychographic practices remain as unreviewable as the campaigns voter advertising. Journalists and regulators can never examine hyper-targeted dark posts deployed in 2016 because Facebook did not preserve or release them for public review.
With the help of researchers in Europe, we learned Cambridge Analytica was subject to laws that have no parallel in the US. After submitting a request for personal data, a Cambridge Analytica voter profile was delivered and publicly exposed for the first time. Does this prove that our voter data is stored and processed in the UK? Couldnt our request have been denied if personal data had not left US territory? Americans dont have a basic right to request and view our own voter data profiles and ideology models, a right that citizens enjoy in the UK and other European nations. We are concerned as to whether SCL/CA have complied with the UK Data Protection Act of 1998 and have instructed solicitors in the UK to write to them, with a view to court action.
Does this prove that US voter data is stored and processed in the UK? Couldnt our request have been denied if personal data had not leaked from US territory?
What we fear is a future in which potent personal data is combined with increasingly sophisticated technology to produce and deliver unaccountable personalized media and messages at a national scale. Combined with data-driven emerging media technologies, it is clear that the use of behavioral data to nudge voters with propaganda-as-a-service is set to explode. Imagine being able to synthesize a politician saying anything you type and then upload the highly realistic video to Facebook with a fake CNN chyron banner. Expect the early versions of these tools available before 2020.
At the core of this is data privacy, or as they more meaningfully describe it in Europe, data protection. Unfortunately, the United States is headed in a dangerous direction on this issue. President Trumps FCC and the Republican party radically deregulated our ISPs ability to sell data monetization on paying customer data. Anticipate this administration further eroding privacy protections, as it confuses the public interest for the interests of business, despite being the only issue that about 95% of voters agree on, across every partisan and demographic segment according to HuffPo/YouGov. We propose three ideas to address these issues, which are crucial to preserving American democracy.
Link to article
An EXTREMELY important read!!!
Billionaire Mercer's (Bannon supporter) Cambridge Analytica behind Brexit, Trump, other democratic countries being undermined.
This is huge. Guardian link below. This cannot stand.
I just saw him on Boudain's show. I fucking love Danny.
to Senate Intell Cmte.
I guess we know why Stone was having a Twitter freak out earlier, and why Page has been weird on news interviews the last couple days.
And as such, should be investigated as a National security issue. Agree?
Profile InformationMember since: Sat Mar 4, 2017, 08:49 PM
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