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.
Image Courtesy of Propublica.org