Thursday, March 03, 2005

Voter profiling in the UK

Reading today's Guardian and another little gem on Mosaic which is a data aggregation and mining system pulling information on 61 categories of people in part based upon the postcode information. Run by Experian its main use is by retail multiples who tailor stores to the demographics of the shoppers based upon the geo spatial and category information derived from the system. The Guardian today was talking about how the use of targeted voter selection of just 838,000 could win the election in the UK. The system profiles age, job type, family status / composition, ethnic grouping amongst other items. As with all these systems, only time will tell how effective tell will be put as I've always maintained and its been show by the last US elections personalisation of the message to the voter works so I foresee a lot more interest in this type of system since ComReg has given the green light for a Irish postcode system and An Post is striding ahead to gain an advantage for when it goes live.

Earlier systems: Acorn -
Proponent and Developer of the Concept, Richard Kimber
Opposition to this type of system on its course grained approach, Richard Webber


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