In this multidisciplinary book, experts from around the globe examine how data-driven political campaigning works, what challenges it poses for personal privacy and democracy, and how emerging practices should be regulated.
The rise of big data analytics in the political process has triggered official investigations in many countries around the world, and become the subject of broad and intense debate. Political parties increasingly rely on data analytics to profile the electorate and to target specific voter groups with individualised messages based on their demographic attributes. Political micro-targeting has become a major factor in modern campaigning, because of its potential to influence opinions, to mobilise supporters and to get out votes. The book explores the legal, philosophical and political dimensions of big data analytics in the electoral process. It demonstrates that the unregulated use of big personal data for political purposes not only infringes voters’ privacy rights, but also has the potential to jeopardise the future of the democratic process, and proposes reforms to address the key regulatory and ethical questions arising from the mining, use and storage of massive amounts of voter data.
Providing an interdisciplinary assessment of the use and regulation of big data in the political process, this book will appeal to scholars from law, political science, political philosophy and media studies, policy makers and anyone who cares about democracy in the age of data-driven political campaigning.
List of contributors
1 Political micro-targeting in an era of big data analytics: An overview of the regulatory issue
JANICE RICHARDSON, NORMANN WITZLEB AND MOIRA PATERSON
The need for a civic disposition
2 From mass to automated media: Revisiting the ‘filter bubble’
MARK ANDREJEVIC AND ZALA VOLCIC
3 Filter bubbles, democracy and conceptions of self: A brief genealogy and a Spinozist perspective
4 Voting public: Leveraging personal information to construct voter preference
JACQUELYN BURKELL AND PRISCILLA M. REGAN
Public international and European law
5 International law and new challenges to democracy in the digital age: Big data, privacy and interferences with the political process
6 Social media in election campaigns: Free speech or a danger for democracy?
7 Freedom of processing of personal data for the purpose of electoral activities after the GDPR
Domestic laws in Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom
8 From the doorstep to the database: Political parties, campaigns, and personal privacy protection in Canada
COLIN J. BENNETT AND MICHAEL MCDONALD
9 Voter privacy in an era of big data: Time to abolish the political exemption in the Australian Privacy Act
MOIRA PATERSON AND NORMANN WITZLEB
10 Big Data and the electoral process in the United States: Constitutional constraint and limited data privacy regulations
RONALD J. KROTOSZYNSKI JR
11 Data and political campaigning in the era of big data – the UK experience
STEPHANIE HANKEY, RAVI NAIK AND GARY WRIGHT