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GOP Data Firm Inadvertently Leaked the Personal Information of Nearly 200 Million Voters

Nearly 200 Million Voter Details Were
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Larry Marano/REX/Shutterstock (6824952i) Voting station Early voting at Coral Springs Library, Florida, USA - 24 Oct 2016
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* The data includes the personal information of roughly 61% of US voters
* Leaked details included names, race, religion, birthdays and more
* GOP has since cut ties with analytics firm

It’s the single biggest political data leak in history. On June 1, a Republican data-mining firm unintentionally leaked the personal information of nearly 200 million voters. Details include first and last names, race, religion, birthdays, emails, various social media posts and more.

The data was taken from a conservative third-party firm named Deep Root Analytics, which had gathered this information from a variety of sources, including various subreddits and other Republican super PACs. The collected information is said to be used to help politicians predict where specific demographics stand on heated political issues like gun control and contraceptive use. According to Gizmodo, the information was also used to “help inform local television ad buying.”

The leaks were first discovered by Chris Vickery, a risk analyst at security firm UpGuard. Vickery found over a terabyte worth of sensitive data that was stored haphazardly on a cloud server without password protection. That means anyone could essentially visit the URL and download this information. To put this into perspective, these 200 million voters equal roughly 61% of the entire US population. 

In a statement published on Mashable, the Republican National Committee condemned the leaks, stating: “While Deep Root has confirmed the information accessed did not contain any proprietary RNC information, the RNC takes the security of voter information very seriously and we require vendors to do the same.”

If you’d like to learn more, you can read UpGuard’s full report here.