AO 2021-05: LLC may not use aggregated individual contributor data
Tally Up, LLC may not aggregate individual contributions to generate the Voter Segment Scores that it proposes to provide to candidates. Such information would be used to solicit contributions, which is prohibited under the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) and Commission regulations.
Tally Up proposed to sell certain tools and services to candidates and their campaigns. Such tools and services included providing information and analysis on which voters were likely to vote, messaging trends that would resonate with voters, and social media analytics. In addition, Tally Up proposed to offer its clients the ability to create customized lists of voters defined by specific variables such as age or zip code. Tally Up proposed to score its customized lists based on aggregated FEC data on the individual contributions made by voters on the customized lists and on the individual contributions of other similar voters not on the customized lists.
The Act prohibits any information copied from Commission reports from being “sold or used by any person for the purpose of soliciting contributions or for commercial purposes, other than using the name and address of any political committee to solicit contributions from such committee.” Previously, the Commission has determined that the Act would prohibit the sale or use of contributor data when it would generate solicitations.
Tally Up proposed to cross-reference individuals’ names against names and contribution histories in Commission disclosure reports and would provide to its clients at least a partial list of the names and contact information of individuals linked with a segment score derived from the contribution histories of those same individuals. Some individuals in the segment may be solicited because their past contributions factored into the segment’s overall score.
The Commission determined that Tally Up’s proposal would result in contributor data being used to solicit previous contributors and is therefore impermissible.
Date issued: May 17, 2021; Length: 7 pages
11 CFR 100.12
11 CFR 104.8(a)
Uniform reporting of receipts
11 CFR 104.15
Sale or use restriction
11 CFR 110.6