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.
There’s never been a campaign app like this before. Download it today to help Hillary win. https://t.co/K1Aw88vS9Hhttps://t.co/iJNSagEoVc
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 24, 2016
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.