Stories of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytics brouhaha miss a basic point, according to a Boston Herald editorial Mar. 23, 2018, headlined “Data mining not new.” The editorial points out that despite the screaming, there is nothing new nor illegal about it. The editorial says: “This type of scrutiny by detractors is reserved for this particular president. Media raved when the Obama campaign used similar data to target voters in the 2012 election. ‘Data You Can Believe In —The Obama Campaign’s Digital Masterminds Cash In,’ was the fawning headline in The New York Times.”
Check out the editorial at: http://www.bostonherald.com/opinion/editorials/2018/03/editorial_data_mining_not_new
I was at a Washington press conference in 1968 when Richard Nixon election staffers proudly explained how they would use computers to send personalized letters from Nixon to selected recipients. This was a pioneering project in using computers as a vote-getting tool. I asked if it were honest to fool people into believing their letters came directly from Nixon’s hand. The staffers brushed it off.
File under: Nothing new under the political sun.