Op-Ed: Is Data Undermining Our Democracy?

In this year’s election cycle, the restless, anti-establishment anger is palpable, and shared by voters on the left who felt the Bern and on the right who love the Donald. Both are animated by a conviction that the moneyed class and corporations have hijacked our democracy. Emerging from their conventions, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will vie to win over these disaffected voters. Right now, both candidates are missing a potent opportunity to publicly recognize that it is not only money producing outsized influence in our democratic system. It is data.

Data plays a crucial role in our democracy by revealing how it works—who votes, who gives, who spends on what—and too much of it is inaccessible, incomplete, or too messy to understand without analytics experts. Data is not making our democracy less rigged in favor of incumbency and wealth. It reinforces this imbalance. Continue…