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The White House Throws Privacy Out The Window to Push an Agenda

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The collection of personal data has reach an all-time high (or low as the case may be) today as it has been announced that a massive database of voter personal information has been released for the expressed purpose of advancing a political agenda. According to a statement made by the political action group OFA (Organizing for Action) the Obama campaign has given them access to their database of voter information. The database has more than personal information of more than 4 Million Donors and millions of other voters. The data is a collection of personal information including Facebook interactions (Friends and likes) Cell Phone numbers and more.

The data is being released without user consent as far as anyone can tell and all on its own represents one of the biggest fears to those that are watching what the data collectors are doing. There are many questions about how the Obama campaign collected their data (including some ethical concerns) as there is speculation that they captured browsing and spending habits along with other information scavenged from sites like Facebook. These collection practices were going on at a time when congress was debating this topic due to privacy concerns around Facebook’s own collection and sharing practices.

Now the collection of voter information is nothing new and many candidates are given access to large databases of voter information, but this is the first time that the collection practices have extended into the web and made the leap to gathering supporter browsing and spending habits. It puts the debate over online privacy into a new light; if the President of the United States is willing to harvest and share your personal data there is very little chance that he (or congress) will do anything to stop companies from doing the same thing.

It looks like the fears of many privacy advocates are being realized with this single move (all to create a new super lobby) and we could see unprecedented collection and sharing or personal information over the next few years now that this step has been made public. You better believe that other lobby groups are going to want in on this and will either buy into the data through “donations” or simply use the same practices and invoke the precedent of the OFA to prevent legal action. We said it in the first week of 2013, we all need to be prepared for a fight to maintain a free internet and to ensure that our personal (and private) information is not shared for uses that are nothing more than an effort to push someone’s personal agenda.

Tell us what you think about the White House Sharing this Personal Information in our Forum

Last modified on Monday, 28 January 2013 12:47
Sean Kalinich

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