Amid all of the furor over Cambridge Analytica’s improper use of Facebook data in 2014, turns out what the Hillary campaign did in 2016 was far worse:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 24, 2016
The Federalist Papers report,
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign may have harvested the Facebook data of millions of people using an app that asked them to pair their Facebook friends list with their smartphone’s contacts list – in a bid to reach those people and persuade them to vote for Clinton.
In the midst of the election, the Clinton campaign launched a mobile application called “Hillary 2016” that worked its way around the banned practice of gathering information from users’ friends without their consent.
The Clinton campaign’s use of big data raises concerns amid controversy surrounding Cambridge Analytica, a data-driven company with ties to the Trump campaign that was accused of mining Facebook data and using it to target potential voters.
But a spokesman for Clinton pushed back against any comparisons with Cambridge Analytica, telling Fox News that the campaign’s mobile application merely “let users contact their friends about the campaign.”
Trump and Cambridge Analytica, meanwhile, the Clinton spokesman charged, used “stolen” data “for a purpose that was entirely misrepresented to Facebook.”
“It’s the difference between someone asking you to carpool versus them stealing your car,” he said.
President Donald Trump, however, recently reminded the public that his social media operation was viewed during the campaign as being less expensive and less sophisticated than Clinton’s.
Remember when they were saying, during the campaign, that Donald Trump is giving great speeches and drawing big crowds, but he is spending much less money and not using social media as well as Crooked Hillary’s large and highly sophisticated staff. Well, not saying that anymore!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018
Facebook did not respond to a request for a comment.
The social networking giant banned the practice of acquiring users’ friends lists in 2014 after former President Barack Obama’s campaign weaponized the method and got access to the data of millions of potential voters.
But Clinton’s application took advantage of special iPhone and Facebook integration, asking every user to pair their friends list on Facebook with their phone contacts – and give the campaign permission to access that info.
People who didn’t download the application weren’t able to stop friends from pairing their phone numbers with Facebook accounts if their friends decided to do so.
Once the friends list was paired with the app, people had to swipe through their Facebook friends and dismiss those who, in their view, would never vote for Clinton. Once that was done, the remaining friends were sorted by location and the users could send a pre-written text message to convince them to back Clinton in numerous ways.
There’s a double-standard at work here for sure. Why is the media screaming about Cambridge Analytica but silent on the Clinton campaign’s abuses?