Consumer data is used in elections

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In summary, the Schwarzenegger campaign is using technology to target voters with personalized messages.
  • #1
We all know that a lot of consumer data is collected. I personally did not realize that it had gotten this entrenched into the political arena. Until I read a recent article about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign.

Employing technology honed in President Bush's 2004 victory, the Republican governor's re-election team has created a massive computer storehouse of data on personal buying habits and voter records to scout up likely supporters. Campaign officials say the operation, run in cooperation with the state Republican Party, is the largest of its kind in any state, at any time.

The idea is an outgrowth of techniques that businesses have long used to court new customers. Using publicly available data, the Bush campaign in 2004 knew voters' favorite vacation spots, religious leanings, the music and magazines they liked, the cars they drove.

Few people might realize how much information is publicly available, for a price, about their lifestyles. Companies collect and sell consumer information they buy from credit card companies, airlines and retailers of every stripe.

This is a bit of a twisted version of a politician being in touch with his or her constituents.:rolleyes:
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suggested further reading: The Soft Cage by Parenti
  • #3
I saw a program that mentioned the Republican Party has a database of every registered voter, and the Democrats are hoping to do the same. :rolleyes:

We've been getting unsolicited phone calls regularly - its almost like telemarketing. And the computerized messages are really irritating. No wonder voters get turned off.

Not only are the politicians and parties calling, but pollsters and surveyors too. Why can't they just let people alone and wait like everyone else?

Why does it seem like some people feel they have Freedom to Annoy other people?
  • #4
I hate to use the term but it seems to fit. The whole scenario does sound very orwellian.

The Schwarzenegger campaign has stockpiled millions of names, phone numbers and addresses with consumer preferences, voting histories and other demographic information. The information allows the campaign to target a household with phone calls, mailings and visits from volunteers, with the message tailored to issues the resident is believed to care about

Related to Consumer data is used in elections

What is consumer data?

Consumer data refers to information gathered about individuals and their behavior as consumers. This can include things like demographics, purchasing history, online activity, and social media engagement.

How is consumer data used in elections?

Consumer data is often used in elections to target specific groups of voters with tailored messages and advertisements. This can help candidates and political parties to understand the concerns and motivations of different voter demographics and tailor their campaigns accordingly.

Is it ethical to use consumer data in elections?

The use of consumer data in elections is a controversial topic, with arguments for and against its ethical implications. Some argue that it is a necessary tool for modern political campaigns, while others argue that it invades individuals' privacy and can lead to manipulation.

What are some potential benefits of using consumer data in elections?

One potential benefit of using consumer data in elections is that it can make campaigns more efficient and effective. By targeting specific groups of voters, candidates can focus their resources on the areas where they are most likely to sway voters. Additionally, consumer data can help campaigns to understand the concerns and priorities of different voter demographics, allowing them to tailor their messaging accordingly.

Are there any risks associated with using consumer data in elections?

Yes, there are potential risks associated with using consumer data in elections. These include concerns about privacy and data security, as well as the potential for manipulation and biased targeting of certain groups. It is important for campaigns and data companies to have ethical guidelines and transparency in their use of consumer data to mitigate these risks.

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