Author: Thomas Russell / Source: Colorado Springs Independent
The Trump administration’s request for voter information, as part of a new commission investigating voter fraud, would be a great windfall for hackers everywhere. Even if you take away the social and political ramifications of this request and consider it from a purely technological viewpoint, the administration’s wish to collect and centralize large amounts of personal data is a very bad idea. The purpose of this commission may be to ensure election integrity, but there’s never been any evidence of widespread voter fraud to begin with, and building this kind of database will give hackers one-stop shopping for valuable voter data.
Some of the data requested includes date of birth, voting history, military service records, party affiliations, felony convictions and the last four of the social security number. It has already been proven that the first six digits of a social security number can be guessed (by using the state location of the individual) after obtaining the last 4 digits. It’s easy to see why requesting the data has become quite controversial, even though the commission recently suspended its request.
The type of data States can release is regulated by the individual state laws, which bars some of the requested information from being shared at all. Forty-four states had decided to provide only partial information, that which is already publicly available, including Colorado, which is prohibited from releasing driver’s license numbers, dates of birth and social security numbers by state law.
In some cases, this information is already available, for a price. Fees for data collected by states is available for political parties and organizations, or anyone who can afford it. Campaigns purchase data for strategic reasons while commercial companies profit on reselling it themselves. Discretion is a must we’re talking about people’s identities.
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