Data Firm Hired By RNC Accidentally Leaked Millions Of Voters' Personal Info

Data Firm Hired By RNC Accidentally Leaked Millions Of Voters' Personal Info”

Vickery was able to download 1.1 terabytes of "entirely unsecured" data, which uses 9.5 billion data points to describe 198 million potential USA voters' likely political preferences across 48 different categories.

The data was compiled for last year's United States presidential election by Deep Root Analytics, Target Point Consulting, and Data Trust on behalf of the Republican National Committee, security vendor UpGuard said.

Vickery discovered 1.1 terabytes stored on the cloud, that was fully downloadable and not password protected, according to a report published to UpGuard's website.

A researcher for security company UpGuard stumbled upon an unsecured server with a massive cache of data.

Sensitive personal details relating to nearly 200 million USA citizens have been accidentally exposed by a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee. The firm continued, stating, "Deep Root Analytics builds voter models to help enhance advertiser understanding of TV viewership". This demonstrates the Republican party's investment in big data for the purposes of campaigning, which according to UpGuard involved more than $100 million in the 2016 presidential election.

The discovery was unveiled at the start of the White House's "tech week", which saw Jared Kushner make his first known public speech to welcome tech CEOs to the White House and promise to make the machinery of government far more modern.

"Since this event has come to our attention, we have updated the access settings and put protocols in place to prevent further access", Lundry told Gizmodo.

Information on almost 200 million voters in a Republican National Committee database was exposed after a private contractor left documents on a publicly accessible server. UpGuard Cyber Risky Analyst Chris Vickery, who found the files, notified federal authorities of the exposure.

Gizmodo reports that Deep Root has accepted full responsibility for the oversight and corrected the issue, adding multiple layers of security to the data.

Deep Root secured the server shortly after they were alerted of the problem.

The unprotected data included information on voters' positions on issues from gun ownership to abortion as well as religious affiliation and ethnicity. Those folders held spreadsheets that contained data and personal information associated with people who voted for Republican candidates in the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.

While no directory of files was visible online, to access them it was only necessary to understand the naming conventions typically used for database files on AWS and then use wildcards to search for possible hits, said Vickery.

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