Democrats May Sell Voters’ Political Data to Retailers and Credit Card Firms

Thursday, February 07, 2013

In addition to banks and retailers selling off Americans’ personal data, the Democratic Party is also planning to make a buck off individuals who have shared their information.


The process began in 2011, when state Democratic party leaders formed the National Voter File Co-op to sell their voter data to certain nonprofit groups in order to recover some of the money spent collecting and updating local voter lists.


Now, however, Democrats may sell their databases to credit card companies and chain stores, such as Target.


“Much of the data the co-op sells comes from the government and is already part of the public record—information such as voters' names, addresses and party affiliation,” writes Lois Beckett of ProPublica.


But other information for sale would include voters’ views and preferences that could be helpful to businesses looking for new marketing opportunities.


Democrats claim the sell-off would be legal, according Karl Sandstrom, a former vice-chairman of the Federal Election Commission and an attorney for the co-op.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Will Democrats Sell Your Political Opinions to Credit Card Companies? (by Lois Beckett, ProPublica)

For Sale: Detailed Voter Profiles (by Sasha Issenberg, Slate)

Private Database of One-Third of U.S. Adults Sold to Debt Collectors and Banks (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Feds Want to Know What Data Brokers Who Market Data on Consumers Know (by Ken Broder, AllGov)

Political Ad Database Is Finally Online, but Crippled by Lack of Features (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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