Monday, August 6, 2012

Obama app

Curious how many Democrats live on your block? Just download the Obama campaign's new mobile app.
The app, released last week, includes a Google map for canvassers that recognizes your current location and marks nearby Democratic households with small blue flags.
Interactive Features
For each targeted address, the app displays the first name, age and gender of the voter or voters who live there: "Lori C., 58 F, Democrat."
All this is public information, which campaigns have long given to volunteers. But you no longer have to schedule a visit to a field office and wait for a staffer to hand you a clipboard and a printed-out list of addresses.
With the Obama app, getting a glimpse of your neighbor's political affiliation can take seconds.
While The New York Times dubbed the app "the science-fiction dream of political operatives," some of the voters who appear in the app are less enthusiastic about it.
"I do think it's something useful for them, but it's also creepy," said Lori Carena, 58, a long-time Brooklyn resident, when she was shown the app. "My neighbors across the street can know that I'm a Democrat. I'm not sure I like that." ....

 Shaun Dakin, a voter privacy advocate and longtime critic of political robocalling, flagged the Obama app last week as a "total privacy fail."
Dakin, who criticized the Obama campaign's 2008 Neighbor to Neighbor program on similar grounds, said voters should have the right to opt out of being contacted by political campaigns.

He also questioned why the Obama app included the ages of nearby voters, another piece of information that people might not want to have made public.  (

I didn't realize that that information was available anywhere let alone on a mobile app, glad I'm not a registered democrat!

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