Friday, October 7, 2022

How does the collection of personal information by political parties affect elector engagement?

My new article with Julia Kalinina, Elizabeth Dubois, and Nicole Goodman, "Privacy and Canadian Political Parties: The Effects of the Data-Driven Campaign on Elector Engagement," is now available Open Access in the Canadian Journal of Political Science

Datified campaigning brings concerns about surveillance, divisiveness, digital redlining and elector autonomy. This article asks whether awareness of parties’ data collection practices affects willingness to engage with campaigns. 

We surveyed Canadians to answer this question, and found: 

  • that respondents are not fully aware of political parties’ data collection practices,
  • that awareness of parties’ collection of personal information may reduce electors’ willingness to interact with political parties online, and 
  • respondents support the application of privacy law to political parties.  

Our team wrote about some of these findings in an article published in The Conversation in 2021, "Electronic tracking of voters is a thorny topic in a tight federal election race."