Last Week Tonight Host Pokes at Congress Over Data Brokering Regulation

John Oliver, comic and host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, known as on Congress to situation broad knowledge privateness laws by making it elegantly private – he purchased their knowledge. Following a 25-minute phase on the ubiquity of third-party trackers and knowledge brokering, the late night time host revealed that his workers had created an advertiser’s profile concentrating on “men aged 45 and up” within the Capitol Hill space who had beforehand visited websites and made searches concerning “divorce, massage, hair loss, and midlife crisis.” They ran a sequence of advertisements with embarrassing titles together with “Marriage Shouldn’t Be A Prison,” “Can You Vote Twice?,” and (to the studio viewers’s delight) “Do You Want To Read Ted Cruz Erotic Fan Fiction?”

Oliver’s phishing expedition turned up a number of distinctive customers in and close to Capitol Hill, together with at least three IP addresses originating from contained in the Capitol constructing itself. The customers within the Capitol constructing clicked on every of the advertisements (together with, disturbingly, the advert for Ted Cruz erotica).

Oliver avoided threatening or doxing any member of Congress particularly, and he claimed in his phase that he had not de-anonymized any of the info he collected. The implication although was clear: Oliver’s scheme is tailored for political opposition analysis, and the subsequent particular person may not be so accommodating.

*This put up was authored by Blair Robinson, authorized intern at Robinson+Cole. Blair is just not but admitted to follow legislation.

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