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Company that created vote counting app for Iowa primary makes mea culpa and admits failure

The first round of primary elections in the state of Iowa was marked by the postponement of the announcement of the results of the Democratic party. In question, there was a flaw in the smartphone application developed to facilitate counting by the polling station organization.

Shadow Inc. who is behind the application and came to the public, through their Twitter account, to apologize for what happened. The company founded by ACRONYM, a Democratic non-profit organization, admits that the process used to transmit the results generated from the data introduced in the application was not rigorous.

Shadow Inc. CEO Gerard Niemira also stepped out of the shadows to apologize for the failure to apply. I was disappointed to find that the technology we developed caused a problem that complicated the caucus in Iowa. We feel very bad about it, said the official Bloomberg in the first interview after the election.

According to Gerard Niemira, the problem was caused by a flaw in the code that transmitted the results to the Democratic party's data warehouse, something that had a catastrophic impact. However, the CEO says that the information has not been compromised: There is no evidence that it was caused by hackers or by intervention by other countries.

Although the flaw in the application code has been resolved, Gerard Niemira admits that the problem could have been avoided. Yes, it was a situation that could have been anticipated. Yes, we have prepared measures to try to avoid it. Even so, we failed.

The CEO also admits that Shadow Inc. had never worked in the election area, with the states of Iowa and Nevada as the testing grounds for the first application developed for that purpose. After the chaos of the first caucus, Democratic representatives from Nevada announced that they will not use the application.

It is recalled that in January of this year, Democratic representatives in Iowa had made it known that they would use the application to help count votes and disseminate results, even in the face of the possibility of hacker attacks or interference from other countries, such as in the case of the 2016 presidential elections.

In the weeks before the caucus in Iowa, the party refused to disclose who had developed the application, keeping its specifications and technical details a secret. The decision worried cybersecurity experts, as the application raised a number of public safety issues.

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