Towards a Holistic Perspective on Personal Data and the Data-Driven Election Paradigm

In late 2019, Tactical Tech's Data & Politics' project lead Varoon Bashyakarla contributed a paper for the Internet Policy Review's newest special issue Data-driven elections, guest-edited by Colin J. Bennett and David Lyon.

In Towards a holistic perspective on personal data and the data-driven election paradigm, Bashyakarla argues that:

Much of the thinking about the ‘datafication’ of politics has revolved around the effectiveness of the technologies in question. This piece argues that the effectiveness of digital technologies that leverage personal data depends on the associated sociopolitical context, which is likely hard to generalize. Furthermore, many technologies once used for commercial marketing and now used for political campaigning have a negative democratic externality. Understanding the full impact of data-intensive campaigning practices on politics requires looking beyond questions of efficacy and considering questions of intent, particularly because the line between innocuous and destructive applications is extremely thin in practice. A series of questions and provocations are proposed to facilitate a more holistic appreciation of the implications of data-driven election campaigns.

Title image: InternetPolicyReview(@PolicyR)