Module I

Introduction to Personal Data and the Influence Industry

Abstract image showing technologies in yellow and grey

The influence industry is not tied to one party, politician or even country. It is a global - and ever-expanding - network of data brokers, communication consultants and campaign technologists who advise political parties and carry out communications in the political sphere. This module aims to introduce key concepts that are core to understanding this industry, including: key features that identify the international scope of the influence industry; the history of political communications and the role of mediating third parties from press to PR; and defining personal data and its transformation into political data for influence campaigns.

Take aways

  • 1

    Identify the features of the influence industry

  • 2

    Understand the history of political communications and mediators

  • 3

    Define personal data and political data

In this module, you will be guided through definitions of key terms and concepts that will provide a foundational base as you continue through the Learning Hub. You will first define what political influence is, in order to better understand why the influence industry exists. You will learn about the history of political communications and mediators, and you will concretely define personal data. In each section, you will find reflections and activities that accompany the text.

Learning about the intricacies of the influence industry is important because only with details about its methods, an international perspective and an examination of the spectrum of companies involved can we understand how our political processes take place and how they can be regulated to ensure transparency. In this module, learn about the history and current environment of data-driven influence, how to define political data and the key concerns that should motivate us to be informed on this topic.

Sections in Module 1

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