The Republican National Committee has rehired a prominent consulting firm it axed after it allowed a massive data breach in 2017.
The committee paid $700,000 to Deep Root Analytics last month, according to a senior party official. The expenditure is expected to be reflected on the committee’s next finance report, to be released Friday.
Following the 2016 election, the Northern Virginia-based media consulting firm took responsibility for accidentally exposing the personal information and political dispositions of nearly 200 million Americans, or around 60 percent of the country’s population. At the time, Deep Root Analytics served as a vendor for the RNC and, along with several other firms, helping to develop highly refined voter data.
The data — which included names, birthdays, and personal addresses — was discovered in June 2017 on an Amazon web server by the cyber risk firm UpGuard. UpGuard described the mishap as “perhaps the largest known exposure of voter information in history.”
The RNC moved swiftly to separate itself from Deep Root Analytics and the firm locked down the information to prevent further public access. Republican officials say the data was unsecured for around two weeks and that other than UpGuard no one gained access.