Just as companies target Internet users for their money, political campaigns can now target citizens for their votes.
ProPublica has been reporting on this trend over the past month. Today (June 27), MIT's Technology Review published a story in which they talked with the companies that sell voter registration data to campaigns for super-targeted political ads.
Technology Review gave an example of the level of detail political campaigns may use:
Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, called the targeting "antithetical to the democratic process." He thought the targeting would increase the number of misleading ads. The increasing number of different ads, each tailored to a specific group, will also make it difficult for news media to check if statements in ads are true.
Chester advocates for campaigns to explicitly ask Internet users for permission to show them targeted political ads, and for Congress or the Federal Election Commission to regulate political targeting.
For better or for worse, the way political campaigns influence people is fundamentally changing, Phillips told Technology review.
Source: Technology Review