eXplain (legal name LMP SAS) is a software company based in France which provides software and analysis to corporate and political clients.

The company information provided on Crunchbase says,

"Explain [sic] provides market intelligence solutions to companies who do Business with Governments. Explain leverage proprietary technology to collect and analyze unique datasets to help companies identify and understand local events, local stakeholders, local opinions and local regulation.

"Previously known as Liegey Muller Pons, Explain developed a leading campaign targeting software used by more than a thousand campaigns across Europe, including the last two French winning presidential bids. Over the past two years, Explain has successfully diversified its portfolio of clients and now mostly works with private companies."

What does eXplain do?

For political parties, eXplain provides PIVOT - a database containing "local socio-electoral information" on potential voters. Other tools offered by the company include a tool to plan which area to target for door-to-door campaigns and another one to facilitate the door-to-door collection of data.

Data Collection, Profiling and Targeting

The principal method of data collection appears to involve gathering information from people at their residence. Volunteers are tasked with interviewing people and using the information provided for insights.

One news profile provided some details on their business model:

"Under French privacy laws, people can’t just go down and get copies of voting record databases, or buy third-party databases from market researchers or other politicians as is standard in the U.S. Instead, the group needed people to voluntarily get people to give them their personal information, and to do it on a scale that allows for meaningful insights."

The same report indicates that volunteers for one campaign "knocked on roughly 300,000 doors, collecting more than 25,000 interviews with voters."  Examples of questions they ask potential voters include:

* What works in France?
* What doesn’t work in France?
* If you were to say one word about politics in France, what would it be?
* Tell us about the best/worst experience you had in the past year?
* Can you tell us about a very concrete local initiative around you?

According to LMP's Head of Product, eXplain then combines this data with open sources from Insee (The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies), which includes data on areas such as aggregate age, income and education levels, and local unemployment rate.

Their privacy policy explains that the personal data they collect are: marital status, surname, name, telephone number and email. It further confirms they use this data among others for handling their clients and for business development. They also confirm they transfer data to the US and that their service providers may have access to this data.

The privacy policy does not give any details about if and how they access or further process personal data from third parties, or how they may use personal data on behalf of their clients.