Personal information of nearly 200 million citizens of the United States was accidentally leaked by a marketing firm -Deep Root Analytics- making it the country’s largest breach of electoral data to date. The marketing firm was contracted by the Republican National Committee.
As per technology news website Gizmodo, the leaked data includes personal information of nearly 61 per cent of US population. Nearly 1.1 terabytes of data which has been leaked have been collected from various sources, including controversial banned threads on a social network, to the committees which raised funds for Republican Party.
Not just personal details, the leaked data also has details of suspected religious affiliations, ethnicities of citizens. The political stand of these people including views on controversial topics like gun control, the right to abortion and stem cell research has also been leaked.
The information had been compiled in spreadsheets and uploaded to a server owned by Deep Root Analytics in January when President Donald Trump, a Republican, took charge. The information has been online for an unknown period of time.
Taking full responsibility for this situation, Deep Root Analytics’ founder Alex Lundry said that based on the information that they had so far, they do not think that their systems have been hacked. “Since this event has come to our attention, we have updated the access settings and put protocols in place to prevent further access,” Lundry said.
This is said to be the largest breach of electoral data in the US to date. Privacy experts have raised concerns over the scale of the data that has been gathered. There have been fears that leaked data can be used for nefarious purposes like for identity fraud or for harassment of people under protection orders, or to intimidate people who hold an opposing political view.
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