How political parties are using your data to canvas your vote as they step up their digital campaigns

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

“It’s as though they knock on your door but have already been through your bins, draws, files and ransacked your home for information,” says one data expert on how we are targeted online.

It’s a frank insight into the use of our data and why political strategists put so much faith in it.

Compare with traditional leafleting by street-pounding canvassers trying to glean what they can in a brief doorstep chat and it’s easy to see why tens of thousands of pounds is being spent online every day.

Facebook ad spending by advertiser as of November 12. Credit: Facebook

Teams of people are staring at screens analysing data in the hope of enticing us in their direction and into the polling booth to vote for their candidate.

It’s not just the political parties who are spending big. Glance at the Facebook advertising data and you’ll see others getting in on the act too.

Organisations like Best for Britain aren’t a party but their ads are political in content, steering voters towards their Remain agenda.

You’ll have seen their adverts and others, especially if you live in a marginal constituency, and you’ll have seen the ones exposed as disinformation “shallow fakes” as they are known.

Doctored videos - such as the one showing an altered version of Labour’s Keir Starmer's appearance on Good Morning Britain - present a different narrative to the actual broadcast; they are simply produced and effectively distributed.

So will this use of data deliver election victory? All sides believe their strategy is the best, although arguably the real winners in the online campaign won’t be the politicians but the platforms harvesting our data and turning politics into profit.