Online campaigns are ok, as long as they’re transparent!

Cambridge Analytica has ruined a lot for anyone who wants to use technology in political campaigning. But when our data are collected with our full knowledge, analytics can be beneficial to politicians and citizens alike.

‘Targeted advertising’, when used in the context of politics, almost seems like a dirty word nowadays. While, when used correctly and transparently, it can benefit politicians as well as the targeted citizens. A farmer doesn’t usually want to hear a party’s opinion on urban mobility. A student is seldom concerned with housing for the elderly. As long as data are being gathered openly and its use is fully communicated, everybody will benefit from targeting of political messages.

In the context of the Belgian local elections last month, I wrote a plea for a correct use of AI and analytics in the political arena. You can read the entire opinion article (in Dutch) on the VRT newssite .