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Romney and Obama Use Secretive DataAnalysis to Find Potential New Voters

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posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 11:05 AM
link to AP article

Mitt Romney's success in raising hundreds of millions of dollars in the costliest presidential race ever can be traced in part to a secretive data-mining project that sifts through Americans' personal information - including their purchasing history and church attendance - to identify new and likely, wealthy donors, The Associated Press has learned.

For the data-mining project, the Republican candidate has quietly employed since at least June a little-known but successful analytics firm that previously performed marketing work for a colleague tied to Bain & Co., the management-consulting firm that Romney once led.

If anyone else posted this, I apologize. I searched for it and looked under New Threads and couldn't find anything like this, unless it is listed under a different title.

The project shows that the same strategies corporations use to influence the way we shop and think are now being used to influence presidential elections. The same personal information that we give away, often unwittingly when we swipe our credit cards or log into Facebook, is now being collected by the people who might one day occupy the White House.

A couple things concern me ; 1) Romney declined to discuss "on the record" his work with Buxton Co. and 2) How open Buxton Co. are to say "Yeah, we're taking your info to target you." I feel like this could become the norm in future elections, and while many of you might not particularly be as wary of online data-mining, I'm not a huge fan of the idea. I understand that it is used for marketing and finding new clientele now, but I worry about where it could lead in the future. Especially in regards to campaigning for presidential elections.

That said, please know that I'm not ignorant to the fact that everything we do online can be traced back to us. I'm just concerned that it doesn't appear to be a concern for a Presidential candidate to let people know (or at least not fight allegations) that they are indeed using that tactic (and looking into purchase history, etc.) to find voters.

So, I thought I'd post it here to get some of your opinions and thoughts.


EDIT : Not trying to spark a political debate between Obama/Romney supporters. Thought I'd ad this from the article as well.

Obama's campaign employs its own form of data analysis to lure potential supporters, via Facebook and Twitter, to fine-tune messages for supporters and potential donors. The Obama campaign declined to comment on its internal fundraising practices, although Buxton said it doesn't work with Obama's campaign.

Although Obama's data analysis is not the same as Romney's data-mining, the fact remains that both are using our online activity to find voters.
edit on 24-8-2012 by jacktorrance because: ETA additional Ex-Text

edit on 24-8-2012 by jacktorrance because: (no reason given)

edit on Fri Aug 24 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: title edit per member request

posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 12:18 PM

Originally posted by jacktorrance
Not trying to spark a political debate between Obama/Romney supporters.

Good luck with that

I'll say this...yes it is frightening, but yes it is the state of country...Romney does it, Google does it, FB does it...and I am sure the Obama campaign does it...

Doesn't make it right and eventually the legislature will have to get around to figuring out how to protect Americans privacy in these rapidly changing times.

Quick story...I once met one of the early architects of FB...he had also worked at Google. I met him for work purposes and tried to "google" up all I could about him before the meeting. NOTHING...His name drew a blank on the internet...just nothing. He had a unique name, so there wasn't even any wrong FB either etc. He didn't exist on the internet.

I mentioned it to him at the meeting and he smiled and said he stays intentionally 'dark", despite being one of the principle engineers behind the technology that shares millions of folks personal data daily. He doesn't have "shopping cards" or credit facebook or google plus public interent data what-so-ever...nothing.

I never got around to asking why as it was a professional meeting and thier was business to discuss, but it made me think and I often ponder that enigma. One of the engineers that created the core tech at FB and Google...can't be found on the internet...I had to assume he not only made an effort not to provide any data via the internet, but he certainly knew how to and must have "wiped" other people's mention of him as well..Because he was a "known" person in Silicon Valley.

What does that tell you?

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