Voter Profiling

I guess privacy doesn’t mean much during an election year. According to a Reuters story by Andy Sullivan, politicians are “drawing detailed profiles” of voters. Mr. Sullivan quotes Grassroots Solutions founder Robert Richman as saying, “It’s pretty scary, the stuff you can get on people”.

It’s funny how politicians often talk big about protecting people’s privacy (except maybe with regard to Homeland security). But in the crunch, some won’t hesitate to mine data the same as businesses. 

According to Mr. Sullivan, one private business near the U.S. Capitol provides much of the data used by politicians. “Campaigns can then augment that data with car registration records, home sale records and magazine subscriptions to determine who is worth contacting”, he writes.

I won’t debate the legality or morality of the voter data mining. But I will say this is just another sign privacy is more an illusion Americans walk towards that is no more real than a desert mirage.

Photo Credit: Rob Boudon