Gov. Roy Cooper and a number of national Democrats have been promoting petitions on the site Sign For Good that purport to gather support for left-leaning causes. Cooper, for example, has sent messages to his campaign email list encouraging them to sign.
But there’s fine print: By putting your name on it, you’re sending your email and other personal info to a laundry list of organizations across the country.
Here’s the list of sponsoring organizations for the gerrymandering petition who get signers’ information.
Here’s the longer list for the CHIP petition.
Both include numerous campaigns, PACs and party organizations. Interestingly, even liberal news blog Daily Kos is on here.
Data privacy and information sharing have perhaps never been a bigger issue in American politics.
Facebook was hit by a massive but scandal in the past week involving personal data shared with the Trump campaign by political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica1.
There’s a local tie here, too. U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis was one of several Republican politicians who engaged Cambridge Analytica in past campaigns.
If you do a little digging, you find that the company behind Sign For Good is also a political consulting firm.
While the site looks like Change.org or other online petition sites, it’s actually the property of Anne Lewis Strategies LLC — a DC-based fundraising and consulting firm that’s worked in Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign, Greenpeace and Teach For America, among others.
They’ve raised more than $320 million for clients online since 2007, their website says.
Is this unethical? Maybe not. But there’s a reckoning coming on both sides of the aisle on the ways they collect and share information.