Clinton takes the stage during the LA Promise Fund's Girls
Build Leadership summit in Los Angeles, Dec. 15, 2017.
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
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
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.
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
and Cambridge Analytica, meanwhile, the Clinton spokesman charged,
used “stolen” data “for a purpose that was entirely misrepresented
the difference between someone asking you to carpool versus them
stealing your car,” he said.
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.
did not respond to a request for a comment.
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
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.
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.
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
developers of the application either declined to comment or did not
respond to Fox News’ requests for interviews.
campaign said at the time that more than 150,000 people downloaded
the application on their devices – meaning that millions of people’s
information may have been harvested through the app.
was the first to provide an in-depth
review of the app, but just a month before the election,
nobody perceived the application as potentially invasive and, in
fact, lauded it as an impressive election technology.
MEDIA DIDN’T THINK DATA MINING WAS SO BAD WHEN OBAMA’S CAMPAIGN
was not immediately clear how the campaign used the acquired data,
though Clinton hired Elan Kriegel – the battleground states
analytics director for Obama 2012 and mastermind behind using big
data – to decide which voters would be targeted for campaign
messages and in what ways.
the 2016 race, Trump and Clinton spent a combined $81 million on
Facebook ads, according to Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch,
who revealed the sum during a congressional hearing last year.