Cambridge Analytica had a huge impact on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, suggests John Cassidy in The New Yorker. While the full extent of the Trump campaign’s use of its data is unclear, its hand in influencing voters is clear. The company’s CEO stated that their strategy was to target particular locations in the US with political ads, especially swing states. This way, even though President Trump lost the popular vote, he won in areas that were crucial to getting him into the White House. There is a likelihood that the company also worked with political groups and used Super PACs to affect voters, which goes against campaign laws.
The notion that the Trump campaign somehow swung the 2016 presidential election with Cambridge Analytica’s help is wrong, believes David Harsanyi of The Federalist. Big data has long been used by presidential campaigns to gain votes, most notably by Barack Obama in 2012. Hillary Clinton also had a huge amount of data available to her. The reason Trump’s partnership with the British data analysis company has been such a huge story is that it was part of a Republican campaign. This use of big data is extremely common, and is regularly employed by businesses to market their products and influence the behavior of consumers.