Election laws can’t cope with data harvesting – which suits politicians fine

Heather Green

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Political parties are making increasing use of data analytics to track voters’ behaviour on sites such as Facebook and Twitter in order to send them political messages they will find persuasive. Parties have been campaigning on Facebook as part of the current UK election and both Labour and the Conservatives are said to have set aside around £1m for the purpose.

Yet there is a lot of uncertainty about exactly what is going on – and growing concerns that the harvesting of social media data was secretly used to influence swing voters in the EU referendum.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2017


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Big data
  • EU referendum
  • Brexit
  • Information commissioner
  • Data protection
  • UK elections 2017
  • Data harvesting
  • Election law
  • Social Media advertising
  • Cambridge Analytica


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