Today on NPR Brian Naylor reports on how political campaigns are using technology to track voters across the internet:
"'If you sign up to use one of these campaign apps on Facebook, you're given a little warning that says this app is now going to find out everything that you've made public about yourself on Facebook, as well as the names and IDs of all your friends,' says [Micah] Sifry."
"The campaigns are very interested in where we go online, whether it's Facebook or a news site. And if you've ever wondered how campaign banner ads seem to pop up on every site you visit, blame one of those little data markers in your browser, the cookie. Visit a campaign website, Sifry says, and you get a cookie, which gets shared with other websites you visit.
'The cookie that they've placed on your site from visiting their website is telling those other websites, "Hey, this is a person who visited the Barack Obama website; let's show them one of those Obama ads,"' says Sifry.
Sifry says there is a danger of a backlash, that voters might feel they're being stalked by a campaign."
The comments from Sifry illustrate the impetus for 121Campaign, which allows a voter to interact with a campaign on a one-to-one basis, while protecting the voter from having their privacy invaded or from being exploited on social media.