Obama app shows you age, sex, and names of nearby Democrats

Do you want to know if your neighbors are registered Democrats or not? There’s an app for that! Last week, the Democratic National Committee released an iPhone app created to help spread the word about the upcoming United States presidential election. Specifically, the design of the application is to help grassroots efforts for the re-election of President Barrack Obama by providing the names, addresses, ages, and genders of all nearby houses.

Many people believe that this is an invasion of privacy. Propublica.org reports that, although this information is a matter of public record, people are justifiably concerned with the ease of access to the data. One woman was quoted as saying, “I think this is invasion of my privacy and every other woman's privacy. It's like — 'Here, this is where all the women are.” Although it’s true that anyone can get this information by walking into a campaign office, the number of people who do so is generally low and constrained to those who want to help a particular candidate get the word out.

As technology advances, we have less and less privacy. While many people know to not share controversial information on Facebook and Twitter, other data sources, like political affiliation, are easily overlooked, and it’s from these data troves that information about people can be easily found.

Via: iTunes Store
Source: Propublica.org

Image Courtesy of Propublica.org

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Seriously, this is a big deal how again?

This information is required by law to be publicly available.

Information that has always been available, and the politically motivated people have always obtained is relevant for only one reason, NOW people realize this information has always been available.

Anyone surprised or offended by this, guess what, you have just learned something about information access that the educated people already knew was available.

A bit of political ignorance has been removed. Kudos for you, you learned something today.

If this surprised you, did you not learn about McCarthy and the insane political witch hunt in the USA for communists just 60 years ago? How do you think they knew what political affiliation celebrities had registered under?

Here go learn something: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism


BTW Just to enforce that people have always obtained and used this information...

My mom always had this information in our house, and from when I was a very young child I can remember the printouts with this information on people in the surrounding neighborhood and towns.

She was only marginally politically active back then, but smart.

When I was six I can remember going to school and I can remember identifying all the kids in the grade by their parents political registration.

So people have been doing this for a long long time, and if anyone thinks it takes more than a minute or two to highlight people on a street map, versus the automation of the App, they are stupid. (If a first grader can memorize several hundreds of people by glancing at the list, it is not rocket science.)

A lot of information is EASILY obtainable, which is why it is so troubling to see people freely give away information that is precious and NOT easily obtainable.


If anyone has a problem with this App, they should at least be intellectually consistent and NEVER use a Google service or product EVER AGAIN, as that information is far more invasive than your publicly declared political affiliation, and far more precious.


As a teacher of CIS, trust me when I say using GMail is far more dangerous than registering for a political party in the USA.

Reminds me of when a load of public Facebook user data was harvested and distributed together. The information's public but you're bound to draw complaints if you harvest it.

Eh, no thanks. I'm still ticked off about our local library system; a few years back they solicited to get support against threatened cutbacks of the budget from the city. I sent my e-mail through them to the local city representatives, since I enjoy using the library and it's resources.

Shortly after I did so, I started getting unsolicited e-mails from Democratic representatives and politicians asking me to support Obama and fight against Republican politicians on Obama's healthcare programs. And as we near the 2012 elections, I've just been getting more and more of them.

Which is funny, since I'm a moderate Republican. Guess the library didn't think Republicans actually supported the library.

After this nonsense, I am a lot less likely to do so.

Relic1980 said,
Eh, no thanks. I'm still ticked off about our local library system; a few years back they solicited to get support against threatened cutbacks of the budget from the city. I sent my e-mail through them to the local city representatives, since I enjoy using the library and it's resources.

Shortly after I did so, I started getting unsolicited e-mails from Democratic representatives and politicians asking me to support Obama and fight against Republican politicians on Obama's healthcare programs. And as we near the 2012 elections, I've just been getting more and more of them.

Which is funny, since I'm a moderate Republican. Guess the library didn't think Republicans actually supported the library.

After this nonsense, I am a lot less likely to do so.

So you are going to prove them right? Really?

Stop for a minute, and realize how insane this sounds.

Especially if you have ANY knowledge of how the world works. The Library has NOTHING to do with your email address getting in the hands of the Democratic Party. At best a Democratic Party member went and pulled the public records, as your email would have been, and targeted you.

So, you think it is a Library conspiracy and you are going to punish them? Punish them for having to click delete or hit the Mark as Spam button a few times?

Really?

Here is a tip from someone that was bombed with political calls.

I was young, but a successful business person, and because I had a bit of money and influence, the Republican Party ASSUMED I supported their crap, and would call my office for various reasons on almost a daily basis, asking for donations, and my opinion on issues within the Republican Party.

It was far more of a punitive assumption about me, than having to click Delete or Mark as Spam, as it took time away from my employees.

However, I used the opportunity to voice my opinion on political issues, which had a direct effect on several local and state level issues.

If your politics is more than bumper sticker sayings and slogans and you have a views on issues, use the opportunity to participate and respond to the groups.

The problem is, most people only get their politics from what people have taught them or from a jaded news agency, and they really don't understand politics, know the issues, or have their own view and suggestions on issues.

In a time when SO much information is available to people, they consume far less that is directly relevant to their lives, especially regarding not just politics but the governing of your city, county, state, and country.

As for the Obama Healthcare 'programs', did you actually read the legislation? Even a condensed version with all the legal formality removed?

It is insurance reform and regulation, and has very little to do with actual healthcare beyond requiring a basic level of care to be upheld by the insurance industry. (Note there is no socialism or government 'program' involved.)


If you don't want this sort of thing happening, we need better information about what is public data and what isn't. As noted in the article, you could look all this up at the town hall if you wanted to.

SPEhosting said,
this is a stupid idea obama needs to be put out of office NOW
Yes because Obama wrote this app himself and thought it was a great idea to make, You know he probably has no clue this thing even exists? Just like you probably have no clue what you are talking about.

The Laughing Man said,
Yes because Obama wrote this app himself and thought it was a great idea to make, You know he probably has no clue this thing even exists? Just like you probably have no clue what you are talking about.

I know alot more then you, of course he knows about this! even if he knew about it after it was released he knows about it now and could have it removed! clearly the government are not the only thick ones ...

SPEhosting said,
this is a stupid idea obama needs to be put out of office NOW

haha, even the Obama lovers at my work hate him now. worst elected president America has ever seen.

Patrick Danielson said,

haha, even the Obama lovers at my work hate him now. worst elected president America has ever seen.

even with the tax increase he didnt seem like a bad president to start with...Im english but the goings on in american politics is important to us as well... so far he seems to be the worst thing to happen to american politics since the patriot act

Enron said,

Please refrain from personal attacks.

is not being generally spiteful a personal attack? maybe I have a disability which hinders my spelling! which I do, but I have tried for years to get better and then trolls come along.....

SPEhosting said,

is not being generally spiteful a personal attack? maybe I have a disability which hinders my spelling! which I do, but I have tried for years to get better and then trolls come along.....

I know, I hear you. Just don't get caught up in all that nonsense.

SPEhosting said,

even with the tax increase he didnt seem like a bad president to start with...Im english but the goings on in american politics is important to us as well... so far he seems to be the worst thing to happen to american politics since the patriot act

This entire post only shows you're utterly clueless about American politics.

SPEhosting said,

I aint feeding you troll

No troll here, how about you explain which tax increase you're referring to, as well as why he's the worst thing since the patriot act. How about you also discuss how congress inability to get past their partisan deadlocks hinders Obama from signing any bill or proposal into law. Until then your post lacks any reason and is basically fluff.

shockz said,

This entire post only shows you're utterly clueless about American politics.


I dunno, he seems to have accurately gauged Obama as a failure... So he's so far doing better than you...

Patrick Danielson said,

haha, even the Obama lovers at my work hate him now. worst elected president America has ever seen.


Agreed. The man's a moron.

shockz said,

No troll here, how about you explain which tax increase you're referring to, as well as why he's the worst thing since the patriot act. How about you also discuss how congress inability to get past their partisan deadlocks hinders Obama from signing any bill or proposal into law. Until then your post lacks any reason and is basically fluff.

There is plenty of info around - some may be misleading, but still: http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/?s=obama

M_Lyons10 said,

I dunno, he seems to have accurately gauged Obama as a failure... So he's so far doing better than you...

You guys realize you're arguing over OPINIONS here right? One person can think Obama's great, and guess what, he's right!

One person can think Obama is terrible, and guess what, he's right too!

shockz said,

No troll here, how about you explain which tax increase you're referring to, as well as why he's the worst thing since the patriot act. How about you also discuss how congress inability to get past their partisan deadlocks hinders Obama from signing any bill or proposal into law. Until then your post lacks any reason and is basically fluff.

including the bill he signed iand legalized around new years? cause no one was around to block it? hm

I think he is a fool, you obviously think other wise... but I have just as many resources as you do... so I can argue all day

SPEhosting said,
this is a stupid idea obama needs to be put out of office NOW
This seems to be more the Democratic National Committee's doing than Obama, Wikipedia tells me Obama transferred his "Obama for America" organisation to them.

Just another way for the Obama people to find out if "the right" people live near them,
so pressure can be put on them. What's next? Brown shirts? Night of the long knives?

This is the 2012 mobile version of Obama's 2008 "Neighbor to Neighbor" home computer program that allowed Democrats to print out info of fellow Democrtats in their neighborhood. Social. Social. Social.

rdmiller said,
This is the 2012 mobile version of Obama's 2008 "Neighbor to Neighbor" home computer program that allowed Democrats to print out info of fellow Democrtats in their neighborhood. Social. Social. Social.

Obama: Putting the 'socialism' in 'social apps'...

Sweet! This will make it easier to "occupy" Chick-Fil-A! Thanks, Obama!

(No sarcasm - I really do want to try their chicken.)

KSib said,
I've never had it, but I want to try it now that I've heard how many people enjoy their food.

I'll eat there simply to support companies having the right to donate to whoever they want. I'm athiest, support gay marriage, and am against religion, but a company has a right to donate to whatever legal cause!

andrewbares said,

I'll eat there simply to support companies having the right to donate to whoever they want. I'm athiest, support gay marriage, and am against religion, but a company has a right to donate to whatever legal cause!

Now there's a comment I can commend!

andrewbares said,

I'll eat there simply to support companies having the right to donate to whoever they want. I'm athiest, support gay marriage, and am against religion, but a company has a right to donate to whatever legal cause!

Yep, and people can decide to not buy their products based on what they do with their earnings.

If Apple started donating money to Nazi organizations, I bet their product sales would drop a bit as well, but that is how capitalism and free speech work.

who in the world thinks this is a good idea?... this is just starting to go to far, yes its researchable knowladge, but this is just making it too easy to harass people for the other party, and other possible issues

neufuse said,
who in the world thinks this is a good idea?... this is just starting to go to far, yes its researchable knowladge, but this is just making it too easy to harass people for the other party, and other possible issues
Strangely enough, the Democrats are the ones that have a fetish with making public data searchable this way. Back when Prop 8 was up for a vote in California, they took all the FEC donation filings by groups for prop 8 and created a map pointing out every individual that had donated money to the group. All you had to do was put in a zip code, and as they put it, all the "gay haters" in your neighborhood would pop up on it. While I was no fan of prop 8, targeting individual people over political disagreements is disgusting.

The Dems love this stuff.

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
Strangely enough, the Democrats are the ones that have a fetish with making public data searchable this way. Back when Prop 8 was up for a vote in California, they took all the FEC donation filings by groups for prop 8 and created a map pointing out every individual that had donated money to the group. All you had to do was put in a zip code, and as they put it, all the "gay haters" in your neighborhood would pop up on it. While I was no fan of prop 8, targeting individual people over political disagreements is disgusting.

The Dems love this stuff.


That was done though because they're underhanded people that play dirty. This was done because the also happen to be completely incompetent.

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
Strangely enough, the Democrats are the ones that have a fetish with making public data searchable this way. Back when Prop 8 was up for a vote in California, they took all the FEC donation filings by groups for prop 8 and created a map pointing out every individual that had donated money to the group. All you had to do was put in a zip code, and as they put it, all the "gay haters" in your neighborhood would pop up on it. While I was no fan of prop 8, targeting individual people over political disagreements is disgusting.

The Dems love this stuff.

If it's public record, like voter registration, it *should* be easily searchable. It's called PUBLIC record for a reason. There's no privacy violation here any more than recording license plate numbers on vehicles in public and matching names to them and posting it anywhere.

Tweaky Nippleton said,

If it's public record, like voter registration, it *should* be easily searchable. It's called PUBLIC record for a reason. There's no privacy violation here any more than recording license plate numbers on vehicles in public and matching names to them and posting it anywhere.


Which you CAN get in trouble for...

And being available and putting it on a map so anyone can just "visit" you are two very different things. I'm glad I'm a member of a smarter party.

M_Lyons10 said,

Which you CAN get in trouble for...

And being available and putting it on a map so anyone can just "visit" you are two very different things. I'm glad I'm a member of a smarter party.

Posting publicly available information is protected. Unless you can show otherwise: [Citation Needed]

Tweaky Nippleton said,

Posting publicly available information is protected. Unless you can show otherwise: [Citation Needed]

Public records don't let you look up a person's info from their license plate anymore. There was a crime due to that and after that, they made all the info private.

One woman was quoted as saying, “I think this is invasion of my privacy and every other woman's privacy. It's like 'Here, this is where all the women are.”

Because privacy only applies to women..? So many things are stupid about this story, but this really stands out.

DChiuch said,

Because privacy only applies to women..? So many things are stupid about this story, but this really stands out.

There is a higher number of single female democrats than married ones. So this basically posts a lot of info on single females that can be easy victims. Don't think that is really a stupid point.

DChiuch said,

Because privacy only applies to women..? So many things are stupid about this story, but this really stands out.


everyone is entitled to privacy. not just freemales. Also, they should publish an android app. Even though IPhone users should not get special treatment.

Because Obama's desparate for cash, and spamming his supporters with phone calls and e-mails for wedding gifts and beer money just isn't enough.