Snap app error gives Democratic organizations access to troves of GOP voter information

A data error by the social media platform Snap accidentally gave open access to a host of GOP voter information that can be used to hone political ads online ahead of the November midterms.

The highly valuable information was accessed by Democratic organizations, who used the data to specifically target voters on major issues via Snap.

According to Snap, the data was maintained by data firm i360, which has strong ties to the Republican party. Snap says the data was accessed by organizations like the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, Stacey Abrams’ Georgia gubernatorial campaign, and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Other voter information about Democratic voters, maintained by data firm TargetSmart, was also made available during the breach.

A Snap spokesperson told Axios, who first reported on the blunder, “Unfortunately, due to an internal mistake, we didn’t follow this usual process — which resulted in these two companies’ services being used by advertisers outside of the process, impacting a small number of ads.”

“We take full responsibility for this mistake, and as soon as we became aware of it, we notified the two Democratic and Republican vendors who were equally impacted, and took action to correct the issue. We are also taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” the spokesperson added. 

There is no evidence that any of the organizations knowingly used private data when they used it to hone their ads.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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