Not unlike many others, I found Cambridge Analytica’s data harvesting practices unethical on multiple levels. Though the data they use is gathered "ethically", through public and consenting surveys, the use of the data as a tool to sway elections isn’t. Life experiences, amongst other things, shouldn’t be sold by companies you buy from in order to be used against you.
The case study goes in detail about how companies like Cambridge Analytica use public data gathered on 190 million voters to help political campaigns tailor their messaging in hopes they sway or change your opinion or even encourage you to vote. It appears to be a violation of one’s right to the truth since most users never consented to any personality surveys.
My issue with Cambridge Analytica’s personality harvesting is that most people in the country have no idea their information is being used to manipulate them. Political elections often feel very personal and the issues have become more and more along the lines of a person’s morals, not just political affiliation. I don’t believe that my data should be cross referenced with someone else’s (who consented to their questionnaires) because of my Facebook use. Just because someone uses a social media site doesn’t mean I consent to having my personality analyzed.
In addition, while possible, there’s no data that proves these political ads based on personality have any outcome on elections. This isn’t winning the case for the political harvesting as I’d only agree to these types of data aggregation or analysis if they served the common “good”. I can understand why this data is useful, but it shouldn’t be to manipulate us into voting for certain people.