Issue due to error by private contractor running Republican National Committee database.
The data gathered on more than 198 million US citizens was left sitting on a publicly accessible Amazon cloud server. Roughly 61% of the population of the USA has had information about their political leanings alongside home addresses, birth-dates, and phone numbers had personal information about themselves exposed.
Deep Root Analytics
The contractor, Deep Root Analytics, stored the records it had gathered, in such a way that anyone who knew of the database’s existence could have downloaded the data without as password, if they knew where to look for it. The data was apparently exposed in the first half of June. Security measures were added after the exposure was found by tech security consultant.
Amazon cloud server
More than a terabyte of information was stored on the cloud server, without even the protection of a rudimentary password. While accessing the information would have required a specific web address, some security firms have said that hackers from other countries could have found the data easily, if, they had known of its existence.
Much of the information stored on the Amazon cloud server, was not original researched material gathered by Deep Root Analytics, but was instead the aggregate of outside data firms and Republican super PACs. If nothing else, the exposure database only serves to highlight how increasingly more advanced the political data ecosystem landscape has changed in recent years. The exposure of the data, has been widely reported as the largest leak of voter information in history.
At the time of writing, Deep Root Analytics has said it doesn’t believe its proprietary data was accessed by any malicious third parties during the time the data was freely available on the web.