Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Data used by Trump campaign on 198mn Americans found exposed online


This "leak" of sorts left the personal data of almost every registered voter in the United States exposed, making this the "largest known data exposure of its kind", according to UpGuard's Cyber Risk team.

A blog post by Upguard said the researchers were able to view "names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, and voter registration details, as well as data described as "modeled" voter ethnicities and religions".

A Republican data analysis company called Deep Root Analytics left exposed an online database containing the personal information of nearly all of America's 200 million registered voters, the cyber security firm UpGuard has found.

Data security firm UpGuard is bringing our attention to a very severe data exposure today.

Vickery frequently hunts for misconfigured data sources on behalf of UpGuard's Cyber Risk Team, often finding everything from military engineering plans to lists of potential terrorists - simply sitting out in the open.

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The database also contains files that may be from another data firm, TargetPoint, suggesting the two companies shared USA voter information. The data, which was stored in a publicly accessible cloud server owned by Republican data firm Deep Root Analytics, included 1.1 terabytes of entirely unsecured personal information compiled by DRA and at least two other Republican contractors, TargetPoint Consulting, Inc. and Data Trust.

Although Deep Root Analytics did not gather the data, the company confirmed their ownership of it in a statement to Gizmodo on Friday.

"The ability to collect such information and store it insecurely further calls into question the responsibilities owed by private corporations and political campaigns to those citizens targeted by increasingly high-powered data analytics operations". Of course, that the RNC and DNC would be trying to create in-depth profiles on voters and the larger demographics they belong to shouldn't be much of a surprise, but we should also expect them to keep that data under lock and key. "This is valuable for people who have nefarious purposes", says one.

Vickery's colleague, UpGuard reporter and analyst Dan O'Sullivan, looked himself up in the database and was taken aback by the RNC's analyses.

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