Article by Bryan Howard
August 27, 2018
Millions of Texans had their voting history exposed online from a data breach, which was reported by TechCrunch.
The single file — stored on an unsecured server with no password — contains about 14.8 million records, the report stated. The File was first discovered by a New Zealand based data breach company called Flash Gordon.
The file is about 16 gigabytes in size and contains “dozens of fields, including personal information like a voter’s name, address, gender and several years’ worth of voting history, including primaries and presidential elections,” according to the report.
A portion of this information that was exposed on the data is public information which can include your name, street address, party affiliation, election participation, phone number, and email address. Each state sets its own limitations on what’s public. However, the information also includes phone numbers, race, and ethnicity.
The problem with the information breach can be used to expose very personal beliefs.
“That’s where this file fills in the gaps with dozens of other fields, which can be used by campaigns to position their political messaging,” TechCrunch reported. “For example, the data includes fields that might score an individual’s believed views on immigration, hunting, abortion rights, government spending and views on the Second Amendment.”
It seems this information from the data was used for the 2016 presidential race. For example, data was used to create predictive “scores.” that included whether people had “trust” or “no trust” for then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.