The Center for Digital Democracy calls on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to hold hearings examining the role that the Internet and related digital data applications now play in federal political campaigns. The public needs a better understanding of how contemporary digital practices in the “Big Data” era affect our electoral system. CDD also urges the FEC to begin a rulemaking to revise its regulations concerning disclaimers so the public has appropriate access to information regarding the operations of online ads and related content.
“The FEC must hold hearings to examine how, in this era of “Big Data” and personalized digital marketing, the unrestricted use of consumer information for political targeting may threaten our democratic process,” said Katharina Kopp, policy director of the Center for Digital Democracy. “Political campaigns now have access to an array of details on individuals that wasn’t previously available, including what they do online and offline. As we witnessed last year, this new capability can be used to engage in online suppression tactics to dissuade individuals and groups from voting. We urge the FEC to examine how digital data-driven campaigns may disenfranchise communities of color and economically at risk individuals."
For more information, please see the attached media advisory and comment by the CDD.