Data is The New Oil: Here’s How Your Data Can Help People Manipulate Your Political Views


Recently, articles regarding the voting of a political party were all over social media. Here, we came across an article about a website where people could vote to candidate of their choice. As mentioned in their website, it is not the real voting and is just a simulation. It’s a nice way to figure out which political leader have high chances of winning or who is popular among citizens. But when people tried to vote, the website asked them their name, number and email. Some people may argue that these information can be collected to stop people from submitting multiple entry, but a person could vote multiple times using the same name, number and email in this website. If it gets into wrong hand it can be used to manipulate your political views. Data is the new Oil but it should be used to make the lives of people easier rather than exploring its dark side to manipulate them.

Data is The New Oil

How these Data can be Used for Political Advertisement?

Let’s suppose, you entered your information on these sites or someone has obtained your data; these data can be used to show you personalized advertisements that can manipulate or change your political views. Political parties of their supporters can send mass messages to people ahead of the election attracting them to various fake promises or luring people with various offers. The quantity of data the businesses have collected about who we are as individuals and what we do as social units is so vast that it is reshaping the basic fabric of our communities. There is an increase in the trend of spending more money on digital political ads during the time of election worldwide. May it be from parties inside the country or supporters of the political parties from outside the country. Opposition political parties can use your data and show you elements that can manipulate you to hate another political party.

Data is the New Oil:

“Data is the new Oil but it should be used to make the lives of people easier rather than exploring its dark side to manipulate them.”

A couple of years back, Facebook had announced that disclaimers will appear on Facebook advertising in India that highlight politicians, parties, elections, or specific pieces of legislation. As the number of people using social media is growing day by day in our country, people would easily fall into the trap of fake videos made to change the views of people on any political party. In any society, media/advertisement is one of the most powerful platforms for launching a strong political narrative.

About Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Incident

A huge data breach was discovered in early 2018 involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, a political data-analytics firm. The data analytics firm inappropriately acquired personal data from over 87 million Facebook users. Consultants working for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign were accused of exploiting the personal Facebook data of millions. According to reports, they may have used it for political advertisements during the 2016 US presidential election.

Also Read: Apps That care the MOST and LEAST about your Privacy

According to reports, Cambridge Analytica obtained the data in a way that went outside Facebook’s guidelines. It then allegedly utilized the data to create psychographic profiles of users and their friends, which were subsequently used for targeted political ads in Trump’s campaign during the 2016 US election.

Note: This article is not in favour of any political parties nor written with intension to discourage development of new concepts.


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