Democrats stumble on GOP data mine from Snap: Axios

An internal error on the social media platform Snap allowed partisan organizations to target political ads with data from across-the-aisle firms, according to a new report from Axios.

According to the report, the error allowed the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and other left-leaning groups to target ads using data from i360, owned by GOP mega-donor Charles Koch.

Data from Democratic-affiliated TargetSmart was also accessible to conservative media, the report notes.

Snap, which primarily pulls from i360 and TargetSmart for its political ad targeting, has a system in place to prevent unauthorized use of each vendor’s data — but an internal error did away with this protection, a Snap spokesperson confirmed to The Hill.

The mistake reportedly affected a small number of ads. No individual Snap user data was compromised, the spokesperson said, and advertisers were not able to directly access the i360 and TargetSmart generalized data.

There is no indication that any involved party knowingly exploited the Snap slip-up, according to the Axios report.

The Hill has reached out to i360 and TargetSmart for comment.

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