"France: Data Violations in Recent Elections."
"French laws designed to prohibit individual-level targeting are circumvented by services like those provided by Paris-based firm Liegey Muller Pons, which aggregates personal data. Such services are no less data-intensive than those unconstrained by such legal requirements."
"• Liegey Muller Pons (LMP) is a digital campaigning firm that has provided services to over 1,000 campaigns across six European countries. French law prohibits individual-level targeting except under select circumstances. As one expert commented, “political parties, to bypass CNIL legislation, don’t do individual targeting but polling station or district targeting.” LMP offers its French clients information on which polling districts to prioritize for door-to-door campaigning operations based on which are thought to be more amenable to the candidate’s ideas.
• In the words of LMP’s Head of Product:
“We produce analysis combining public open data from Insee (The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) and election results [...]We built a database for every polling station in France (there are 65,000 polling stations in France) combining election results since 2007 and a hundred different socio-demographic variables such as unemployment rate, youth unemployment rate, average time spent in public transport every day, average incomes, average number of children or marital status, etc. Using this database, we are able to produce a statistical analysis to give a level of priority to a district.”
• To assist with mapping France’s 65,000 polling stations, LMP forged a partnership with Cloud Factory, a Nepalese data processing company. As explained in a blog post, Cloud Factory states that it helps LMP “accurately visualize households within a geographic location, including their political proclivities.” Cloud Factory states it takes “huge amounts of complex information, such as family size, socio-economic indicators, political affiliations, and other public data, and visualize it in an interactive map” for LMP.
• Though LMP claims to never use personal data, volunteers on the ground still apparently take notes on their interactions with people, what questions were raised, how they may be reached (e.g., name and email). Even when this information is later anonymised, it is still a component of their work, despite their claims."
Author: Tactical Tech
Publication: Tactical Tech
Publication date: 7/12/2018.