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Is Your Neighbor a Democrat? There's an App For That

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the how-blue-is-my-neighborhood dept.

Privacy 550

theodp writes "ProPublica's Lois Beckett reports that the Obama for America campaign's new mobile app is raising privacy concerns with its Google map that recognizes one's current location, marks nearby Democratic households with small blue flags, and displays the first name, age and gender of the voter or voters who live there (e.g.,'Lori C., 58 F, Democrat'). Asked about the privacy aspects of the new app, a spokesperson for the Obama campaign wrote that 'anyone familiar with the political process in America knows this information about registered voters is available and easily accessible to the public.' Harvard law prof Jonathan Zittrain said the Obama app does represent a significant shift. While voter data has been 'technically public,' it is usually accessed only by political campaigns and companies that sell consumer data. 'Much of our feelings around privacy are driven by what you might call status-quo-ism,' Zittrain added, 'so many people may feel that the app is creepy simply because it represents something new.'"

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A good reason to go independent (5, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | about 2 years ago | (#40890899)

It is creepy, and a good reason not to register as a member of either party...no matter how much you may want to vote in the primaries.

Re:A good reason to go independent (2)

skids (119237) | about 2 years ago | (#40890929)

What, they can't tell by my lawn signs?

Re:A good reason to go independent (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40890941)

Mine just say, "Get off!"

Re:A good reason to go independent (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891047)

Last time I got off in someone's lawn, I went to jail. :(

Re:A good reason to go independent (3, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#40891247)

Yeah, why would you all care if someone knew what party you registered with.
If you are ashamed of your party... change?
If you are scared of others, what part of that is freedom?
Stand up for yourself...

Re:A good reason to go independent (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#40890983)

NSA will still know about you, though.

Re:A good reason to go independent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891219)

Just go down to the Polls and look at the Roster. It is Public Information.

Re:A good reason to go independent (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 2 years ago | (#40891143)

But we ALLLLLL Bundle!

Re:A good reason to go independent (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 2 years ago | (#40891183)

But wait! We could combine this with the data from the phonebook! Then you can harass everyone else simply by looking for households without a blue flag!

Re:A good reason to go independent (4, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 2 years ago | (#40891193)

Creepy or not, it's not new. In the presidential election of 2004, I remember seeing a web site mentioned in an article where you could go and look up who gave how much to which campaigns for any address. I remember wondering how many people know that the information was so readily available. If anything, this will be a good thing in educating people how easy the information is to access.

Re:A good reason to go independent (2)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#40891301)

"Independent" is an identification too, and one that will actually get you more attention than being with a party. Whoever gets the indy vote wins.

Re:A good reason to go independent (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#40891395)

In some states you have to register to vote in a particular primary. The primary is where in theory you get to determine how partisan/effective/brave your congress critters are. In practice it is more often than not a kabuki dance the higher up the office in question. But if we imagine primaries always matter, and matter a great deal, then that is quite a bit of power to give up. Since we have laws protecting the privacy of what you do within a booth, why not extend that to party affiliation? Make party mailing lists and the like an explicit opt in?

Should be interesting (-1, Flamebait)

OS24Ever (245667) | about 2 years ago | (#40890901)

I mean the way the super-right wing groups are going they'll probably use it as an app to round people up with.

Re:Should be interesting (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40890921)

I'm sure if this story were the other way around (smartphone app ousting locations of registered Republicans) most Democrats would love to get their hands on that kind of information to administer a bleeding-heart liberal "reeducation" program.

Re:Should be interesting (3, Informative)

FrostDust (1009075) | about 2 years ago | (#40890981)

It appears your hunch isn't that far off from reality:

SCOTUS Rules Petiton Signatures Are Public Record [slashdot.org] .

Re:Should be interesting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891077)

It's incredibly disturbing, how many comments I saw on that thread along the lines of "they don't approve of gay marriage, oust them!" No doubt so they could be paid a personal visit to "change their minds".

Slashdot liberals are unabashedly hypocritical and despite their cries of "freedom!" are all too willing to sacrifice the personal freedom and safety of their opponents in pursuit of their own personal social agendas.

Re:Should be interesting (1)

micheas (231635) | about 2 years ago | (#40891191)

However that was a ruling based on the laws of the state of Washington.

In California the laws are radically different. In fact California and Washington have two of the most divergent sets of laws in the country as far as voting.

Some differences of the top of my head

  • In Washington if your absentee ballot has a postmark on or before the election day it is counted even if the department of elections receives it two weeks after the election. In California, if the post office makes a special election day delivery at 7:55pm and is delayed until 8:01pm the ballots in that delivery are not counted.
  • The state of Washington allows open access to the voting records, The state of California has anti stalker provisions in the law which allow people to petition to not allow the department of elections to release their names, and makes taking a California voter roll out of the country a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in jail.
  • The state of Washington has multiple validations of signatures on petitions, The state of California only allows spot checks of the signatures for statistical sampling to determine the percentage of valid signatures and no other use of those signatures. It is illegal in California to keep a copy of the petitions turned in for campaign purposes, and the Supreme Court of California has even barred them from being used in investigating fraudulent signature gathering as an invasion of promised privacy.

Overall, I doubt the app is legal in California, although I suspect they could get a presidential pardon.

Re:Should be interesting (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#40891073)

It's interesting, I was just thinking- so now I know how to find out who all is voting for the other guy without drawing attention to myself.

Not that I would ever do anything to harm them or anything. But if I decide I don't want Bill's lawn service taking care of my lawn because he is a democrat, I don't need to sign for a big list at some government office and suffer people wondering why I want it. Come to think about it, there are a lot of performance reviews coming up, perhaps I can show some people how evil big corporation really can be.

Note: I am not over anyone who doesn't already think like me. There is absolutely no chance I could economically harm anyone with this information, But others could. Kind of really creepy isn't it.. lol

Re:Foot in mouth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891249)

Or you could avoid saying inflammatory things to the wrong neighbor.

Democracy (0)

mynamestolen (2566945) | about 2 years ago | (#40890905)

Especially in the absence of democracy in USA. BTW anything less than Proportional Representation doesn't meet any sensible definition of democracy.

Re:Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40890955)

Canada doesn't even have that, otherwise Harper would never have won a second time. In fact he shouldn't even be PM anymore because of fraud. WTF is going on?

Re:Democracy (1)

siride (974284) | about 2 years ago | (#40891307)

Care to back that up with some argumentation?

My neighbor's a state representative (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | about 2 years ago | (#40890909)

I know all about who's what, since we see dozens of petitions a year.

Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy is (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#40890913)

ignored by the Government.

Seriously, this is what they think is a good idea?

Time for change is right. I'm thinking we need a new system, the current one no longer represents the people.

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40890919)

a political party isn't a government...
go back to school.

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#40890945)

a political party isn't a government...
go back to school.

dude, the "political parties" are fronts for the corporations.

Pay fucking attention.

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (0)

radiumsoup (741987) | about 2 years ago | (#40890989)

ah, yes... "the" corporations, much like "the" [insert racial stereotype here]

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (1, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#40891079)

ah, yes... "the" corporations, much like "the" [insert racial stereotype here]

You might think corporations are people, but the sane people do NOT believe that.

So sorry, corporations can not find safe harbor under hate laws. Nice try though.

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (2, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#40891399)

He wasn't talking about hate laws, you said that. His comment was about irrational fear, stereotyping, stupid generalizations and other small minded ways ol looking at things.

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891199)

Political parties are a crutch for people who can't think for themselves.

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40890951)

Till that to Hitler .... or Obama.

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#40891035)

a political party isn't a government...
go back to school.

Is the govt any better? [lmgtfy.com]

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#40891269)

You could argue that a member of the political party who is currently serving in the government who is seeking reelection is the government. Isn't that what is happening?

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891071)

ignored by the Government.

You don't have a right to privacy enshrined in the law.

Ain't that a kicker?

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40891229)

Seriously, this is what they think is a good idea?

The Obama campaign is just using a technique that's tried and true in the corporate world.

As long as they don't start installing this app as part of AT&T's Android bloatware package, I don't have a problem with it.

But it's interesting that knowing about what corporate money is coming into a political campaign is completely off limits. For some reason, that's considered just beyond the pale. Well, we know the reason, but that doesn't make it easier to swallow.

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40891237)

Time for change is right. I'm thinking we need a new system, the current one no longer represents the people

Oh, it represents the people alright.

The people with lots of money.

It represents the people, but not any of the people we know.

Re:Welcome to the New World Order, Where Privacy i (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#40891245)

Exactly what makes you think that a new system will be better?

Look around the world today. Mostly it's worse. Some more are essentially the same +/- certainly not worth going through the hassle to switch to.

A few are better but they are usually the size on one US state or less. Not clear that they would be scalable to something the size of the US.

There's "available" and then there's "available" (5, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | about 2 years ago | (#40890935)

> Harvard law prof Jonathan Zittrain said the Obama
> app does represent a significant shift. While voter
> data has been 'technically public,' it is usually
> accessed only by political campaigns and companies
> that sell consumer data.

"But the plans were on display..."
"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."
"That's the display department."
"With a flashlight."
"Ah, well, the lights had probably gone."
"So had the stairs."
"But look, you found the notice, didn't you?"
"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."

- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Re:There's "available" and then there's "available (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891385)

When I was a Poll Inspector, lots of times we'd have paranoid zealots from the lunatic fringe go through all our stuff rooting for fraud, ramrods from the local (Republican) Party office checking to see if people were showing up, &c. We are required to post an updated Roster for public inspection.
This is just a bit like giving away too much, since as we all know some blissfully ignorant psycho just may have been just waiting for this random bit of the available info to inspire some dramatic lunacy.

Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40890943)

But for other uses.
Mandy, 28, swallows.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40890953)

That's an app I would happily download.

Public shaming? Commies love it they use it a lot! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40890973)

Right. Yes voter records are accessible to the public but so are criminal records and those
of sex offenders. Even the wages and salaries of federal employees are available online
for anyone curious enough btw.

I wonder what a given neighborhood would look like if we overlaid sex offenders and
criminal records with Obama voters. This is entirely feasible and entirely legal as well.

But yes for everybody else who didn't have the misfortune of living 30 years in a communist
country, commies love to use peer pressure. Right now they're planning to show who is
using how much electricity in a given neighborhood and giving discounts if _everybody_
reduces their energy use in a street. Yes, if only one neighbor exceeds the set quota
everybody 'loses' and everybody will know who is 'responsible'. Expect your neighbors
to come to your door and bitch at you.

Re:Public shaming? Commies love it they use it a l (1, Funny)

Aardpig (622459) | about 2 years ago | (#40891029)

But wait, there's no need for the Right to feel left out -- they could use technology like this to round up the jews, queers, gypsies et al., with just a fraction of the effort invested by their Nazi role models back in the '30s!

Re:Public shaming? Commies love it they use it a l (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#40891263)

Actually many Jews and Gays are pretty conservative these days, and will certainly vote for Romney. Dunno about the Gypsies.

Re:Public shaming? Commies love it they use it a l (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40891037)

Such are the flaws of collectivism.

What I find is interesting is that this is Obama's official campaign app and not some third-party "lets see what we can do with data" app.

Re:Public shaming? Commies love it they use it a l (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#40891283)

Collectivism? Why is everything that the right doesn't like is assumed to come from the mind of Karl Marx? If your neighborhood watch goes around noting the license plates of guys who cruise for hookers, is that collectivism?

Social morality has always had an element of peer pressure and groupthink. That's as true for right wing value systems and left wing ones.

Re:Public shaming? Commies love it they use it a l (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#40891195)

And that's EXACTLY what someone should do. This shit isn't going to end until the general public feels the burn. We'd be all better off if that burn were a prank and not what we're really afraid will happen...

Re:Public shaming? Commies love it they use it a l (-1, Troll)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#40891251)

I wonder what a given neighborhood would look like if we overlaid sex offenders and
criminal records with Obama voters. This is entirely feasible and entirely legal as well.

They'll be exactly the same!

OK, I'm actually an Obamatron, but I couldn't resist the chance to play right-wing troll.

I'm also an independent, so my status as an "Obama voter" is not in any database.

It's only a matter of time.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40890991)

... Til some tea party nut decides to use the app to shoot up neighborhoods. Blue is the new brown.

Re:It's only a matter of time.. (0)

lexsird (1208192) | about 2 years ago | (#40891147)

Cannibalism, shooting sprees galore, acid-in-the-face attacks, etc; please don't give 'em any ideas.

Re:It's only a matter of time.. (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#40891215)

Why would you say tea party nut? You do realize the last several shooting incidents were most likely people who would vote democrat right? They also were somewhat crazy and probably never connected their political ideology with their desire to kill people.

Toeing the party line (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#40890993)

Citizen, there's an app for that. Now go spread the message around your block.

This replaces lower-tech methods (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40890995)

The previous method, back in the days before all this social networking stuff: Republicans tend to keep their shades drawn, even though they really don't have anything that would be worth hiding. Democrats ought to draw their shades, but don't.

Adds to the creep factor (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#40890997)

1. adds a list of people to harrass for republican activists.

2. even more sign the democratic party is less based on ideals, but more on the sense of community that has been taken from us by the paranoia and fear taken from us by the government and RIAA/MPAA affliated communities. Make otherwise unsure people feel like part of something, and hopefully they won't pay attention to issues.

Re:Adds to the creep factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891117)

I find it funny how democrats always accuse others for what the DNC ACTUALLY does.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304723304577368280604524916.html?fb_ref=wsj_share_FB&fb_source=home_multiline
- DNC officals harrass Romney contributors
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/06/senator-asks-doj-to-investigate-swat-ting-attacks-on-conservative-bloggers/
- SWAT teams falsly called to conservative blogger's houses

Actually a Good Thing (2, Insightful)

cryptizard (2629853) | about 2 years ago | (#40891023)

You can't simultaneously thing wikileaks and government transparency are good things and this is a bad thing. The data was already available, this app just puts a more accessible spin on it. Whether the data should be available or not, that we can talk about...

Re:Actually a Good Thing (5, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 2 years ago | (#40891291)

You can't simultaneously thing wikileaks and government transparency are good things and this is a bad thing

The hell I can't. Government should be transparent, not people.

Also, there's a similar analogy to the difference between a six-shot revolver and an automatic weapon. The balance between openness and privacy was struck when the data was hard to get. Now that it's so easy to get en masse, that balance needs to be re-struck.

Re:Actually a Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891311)

There is a VAST difference between making governments' accountable through transparency, and revealing an individual's private information. The former is everyone's business, while the latter most definitely is not.

Re:Actually a Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891325)

"You can't simultaneously thing wikileaks and government transparency are good things and this is a bad thing."

Oh yes I can (and do). Governments are not individuals, and what they do in secret can have major consequences. Transparency is absolutely vital to keeping corruption in check. The same goes for corporations.

Individuals deserve much much more privacy than government.

(hah! captcha: registry)

Re:Actually a Good Thing (1)

Americium (1343605) | about 2 years ago | (#40891331)

However, it's rather odd that the Obama campaign would release this. Perhaps they are proud of their lack of privacy record.

Re:Actually a Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891387)

Actually I can. Data lacking context in the sphere of individuality is dangerous.

There is nothing wrong with the pure data of a person existing, nor is there anything wrong with that information being available. However, there is a difference between an individual, and a government when it comes to privacy.

A government is a collection of laws that we as individuals have chosen to abide under. It is staffed by individuals who are serving to maintain the rules we have agreed to. In that aspect, they have no privacy as they are beholden to all of the society they have chosen to serve. Of course, when they go 'off the clock' and sacrifice the power that comes with their duty, they get the benefits of privacy. However, anything accomplished under the mantle of Public Servic is available to the public. Failure to disclose this leads to corruption. So we are lucky to have wikileaks, and the gov't transparency is an attempt to mitigate the corruption. I believe most people in our gov't want to do right by us, and see corruption as the shity thing it is.

Now in regards to public records; yes these are availaible to the public, and making them easily available to is not really a bad thing. However, what this application is doing is marketing based upon someone's past behavior, and removing the investigative process. It is providing information that was available, but required research, this worries me as much as the 'sex offender' registers. Our political discourse is becoming too advisarial. Imagine an app 40 years ago that flagged someone as a 'black sympathizer', would that be okay?

I am a libertarian debating between voting for Gary Johnson and Obama this November. Mitt is right out as I don't really like a ruling class. But I really don't want my privacy as an individual, attempting to elect a president by secret ballot, compromised by a stupid app that doesn't know how I am going to vote when I don't know myself.

Easy makes it ok (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 2 years ago | (#40891025)

This quote makes me think of south park

anyone familiar with the political process in America knows this information about registered voters is available and easily accessible to the public.

Just answer me this Tweek, what do you see as postive about toddler murder?
Ahh ahh... It is easy
Yes it easy.

Different Logics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891031)

We were at one point seeing county and state records being made more accessible by online searches. The rather perverse opinion seems to have prevailed that public information that is easy to access is too frightening so that although you can go to the court house and find the information you can't access it online. But this new app apparently ignores that line of reasoning.
              To me public information means exactly that. There is no reason to hide public information. The spin off effects of secrecy which some people want to confuse with privacy issues has long reaching effects that are very hard to measure. Yet neither the general public nor the government or the courts have any consistent reasoning on what or should be private.

So.. (4, Insightful)

Severus Snape (2376318) | about 2 years ago | (#40891033)

This data is not 'creepy' when company's are using this data privately for profit, however when it's expressed publicly in a not-for-profit way it's a privacy concern. God bless America.

Re:So.. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40891087)

Generally, a corporation having access with data means they'd be able to better market and serve you. I really fail to see what is creepy about companies being able to better to serve me. For example, I'd much rather see an ad for, say, a sale on the newest graphics card than p3n15 p1llz or just generic ads (granted, I use adblock so I don't see ads, but still). Not that I really see it as any more creepy that individuals can see it too, all I really care about is preventing governments from most of my data as they are the only entity to have habitually exploited and used this data to cause harm.

Re:So.. (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#40891295)

Generally, a corporation having access with data means they'd be able to better market and serve you.

Which is exactly what political parties and candidates do. The only difference is that corporations want your money, and the politicos want your votes.

Re:So.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891351)

They don't want my vote. They want my money. The ask for it repeatedly. My vote is almost worthless in comparison.

Re:So.. (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#40891119)

It's just like when the bastard politicians exempted themselves from the Do Not Call registry.

Re:So.. (1)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#40891321)

This data is not 'creepy' when company's are using this data privately for profit, however when it's expressed publicly in a not-for-profit way it's a privacy concern. God bless America.

Well, I think the potential negative impact definitely has to be taken into consideration. What will the companies in question do with the data that could cause harm to me? What could individuals do with the data that could harm me? In this case, it's conceivable that someone with a deep hatred for Democrats could decide to do me physical harm. More likely, perhaps I live in a heavily Republican area and my personal or business relationships could be damaged if it were known that I were registered as a Democrat.

In the case of companies, there are some possible cases that would cause me significant harm, such as my medical insurance company finding out about a health condition which might cause them to raise my premiums, but in general most companies wouldn't have any interest in harming me. At most they want to try to manipulate me into buying some product or service.

So, yes, I think it is creepier for the general public to know something about me than for companies to know something about me, mainly because companies tend to act in predictable and restrained ways. So, of course, do the vast majority of the public... but there are exceptions, some of them very extreme indeed.

My new app... (5, Insightful)

multiben (1916126) | about 2 years ago | (#40891043)

...shows the private addresses of all politicians with a range of little icons over their houses showing what kind of scandals they have been involved with and what organisations they have been members of.

Re:My new app... (4, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about 2 years ago | (#40891337)

If only we had a "Make this" mod option :)

Nothing new from Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891053)

He's been shitting on privacy since day one. This app just reflects his normal mode of operation, and offers the worst excuse ("it's public record, so it's okay") that you can imagine.

Google said the same thing about Street View and nobody liked that, either.

I'm voting for him because Mitt Romney will destroy America, but I sure as hell hate having to do so. And don't say "go independent" because I'm not some criminal-hugging drug addict who believes in anarchy being a viable form of government. Let's try to keep our plans based in reality instead of some pro-crime pothead's wet dream.

Re:Nothing new from Obama (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 2 years ago | (#40891255)

Let's try to keep our plans based in reality instead of some pro-crime pothead's wet dream.

What plan? You plan to vote for someone who ran on "hope & change" and then just smirked and said "nah, not really", because the alternative is completely nuts, you know, just like Bush got re-elected because Kerry sucked?

That is what you call a plan? You just consume what others plan. They get into office on some promise, and you have exactly zero ways to hold them accountable.

This isn't realistic, it's theatre. Just like your portraits of alternatives are.

Red flags ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891067)

... all over the trailer park.

Oh heck, I already know I'm in blue territory (3, Interesting)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 years ago | (#40891081)

What this may do is surprise a lot of people, who are actually secret liberals but pretend to be right-wing to avoid confrontations. (My husband does this with his parents. They're as tea party as it comes.) If people see they're not so alone, maybe they won't be so ashamed... Then again, if they see a wall of solid red around them, maybe they'll move.

Re:Oh heck, I already know I'm in blue territory (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#40891129)

Similar thing where I live. It's amongst the bluest of areas in the country, but the gun range is always busy when I visit.

Re:Oh heck, I already know I'm in blue territory (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | about 2 years ago | (#40891211)

Pretty much what I was thinking....who cares if the Democrat across the street knows you're a Democrat? But that fellow who accuses you of stealing his mail when you give him the NRA pamphlet the mailman mis-delivered to your box....

Re:Oh heck, I already know I'm in blue territory (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about 2 years ago | (#40891281)

Do you really live in fear of NRA members and (or) people who disagree with you politically?

Re:Oh heck, I already know I'm in blue territory (1)

Whatsmynickname (557867) | about 2 years ago | (#40891217)

Then again, if they see a wall of solid red around them, maybe they'll move.

I thought diversity was supposed to be a goal of the Democrat party...

Re:Oh heck, I already know I'm in blue territory (2)

Moridineas (213502) | about 2 years ago | (#40891271)

Only diversity of skin color and sexuality, not diversity of beliefs!

Re:Oh heck, I already know I'm in blue territory (0)

ArcherB (796902) | about 2 years ago | (#40891267)

What this may do is surprise a lot of people, who are actually secret liberals but pretend to be right-wing to avoid confrontations. (My husband does this with his parents. They're as tea party as it comes.) If people see they're not so alone, maybe they won't be so ashamed... Then again, if they see a wall of solid red around them, maybe they'll move.

Strange. I live in a very blue area of Texas (yes, they exist) and I have to lay low. I tried putting a Bush sign on my yard several years back. The sign didn't last through the evening. My house was vandalized, minor stuff, but still could be considered a warning.

For a few years, it didn't bother me, but before the next election, I had a child. Things changed quickly. I am no longer looking out for my own safety, but I have the safety of my family to look out for as well. I'm willing to risk mine, but what kind of dad would risk the safety of his little girl over politics.

So, now, I do my politicking on places like Slashdot and Facebook and make my home look as blue as the rest around me. I even voted in the Clinton/Obama Democratic Primary four years ago. It's the only primary that requires voters to vote twice. During the second vote, you must stay for the count. It was amazing to see the two Democrat camps accuse each other of cheating. I've never heard of such a thing with a Republican primary. I wonder what they know that I don't. Either way, it was very educational to see how my neighbors act towards those that disagree with them, even when they are all Democrats.

Re:Oh heck, I already know I'm in blue territory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891397)

Laying low is a good idea, finding your husbands name on this list I would not offer him a job. Liberals and Democrats are business hostile.

signs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891089)

They all wake up in the morning with "Vote for Romney" signs in their front yards.

And once again (3, Informative)

kilodelta (843627) | about 2 years ago | (#40891099)

They act as though IOS is the only platform. I searched on Google Play (Stupid name btw, Market was much better!) and no such app exists for Android.

Choicepoint, Florida Voting File (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891121)

This database been used by Choicepoint for years for Gerrymandering. When you read that a GOP mob will be challenging black voters in district X, it's because Choicepoint has worked out that district X is the best chance of swinging the vote by barring black voters. Ethnicity they mine from one database, the voting preference from this database.

Remember the voter cleansing list? Crossed referenced with Choicepoint (DBT as it was then). The list of mostly Democrats purged from the Florida electoral roll for having similar names to convicted felons in other states. Where do you think they got the list of Democrats from to filter by??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Central_Voter_File

This data should be private, perhaps showing people the public data about them will finally help it be kept private.

Who you vote for is your business, and nobody elses.

Reminds me of non-IP-based BSSID geo-location (2)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#40891159)

Basically, cellphones in any area signal to nearby wireless-router access-points (like your home wireless router) and send their own geo-location along with their signal-strength and MAC-address of the router to a database. Over time and multiple cellphones/smartphones, etc. doing the same thing, the router's MAC becomes traingulated and is mapped to a database. I think the database is managed between Skyhook and Google, which can be querried with the MAC address for the info. I'm pretty sure I've done a poor job describing this, but it's an interesting idea and a possible privacy issue. The only link I could find quickly is this: http://coderrr.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/get-the-physical-location-of-wireless-router-from-its-mac-address-bssid/ [wordpress.com]

One more nail (4, Informative)

chicago_scott (458445) | about 2 years ago | (#40891165)

Yet another way Democrats and Republicans have devised to drive voters to register (and vote) as independents. Let's hope this trend keeps up!

Accessible to the public (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891201)

Sounds like all those "stalker" apps that harvest Facebook for public check-ins and then show you who's nearby. "But it's public information!", the app's author says. 2 days later, the app is pulled, never to be heard from again.

Dead people and cartoon characters (2)

ichthus (72442) | about 2 years ago | (#40891243)

"That's weird. How come Disneyland and every graveyard are covered with little, blue flags on this map?"

They're not alone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891273)

They're hardly alone. Here's a similar one: This here app "Stakeout" crawls through meetup.com and finds people around you and when they're (presumably) not at home. https://theotigerblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/we-know-where-you-live/

precedent (3, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40891279)

Before we get too excited about this, we would do well to remember that it wasn't until the 1800's that we started having anonymous voting.

When you voted for any of the first several presidents, you went into a big room and held up your hand. There was zero voter fraud then (as now).

Secret ballots and anonymity in the electoral process was not part of the original system in the US. The founders didn't see the need, apparently. But counting the votes was always taken very seriously, with representatives from both parties involved. (This was before the innovation of black box computer voting outsourced to Republicans. Before Ken Blackwell. Before 2000).

Are you fucking kidding me??? (2)

MasseKid (1294554) | about 2 years ago | (#40891285)

Seriously? I can't imagine any way to better piss off independents than this crap.

Come on, people! (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#40891313)

If your opinions are that private, WTF are you doing on Slashdot?

Re:Come on, people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891359)

Some of us post as AC, you insensitive clod!

This data is NOT supposed to be public (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891335)

it's supposed to only be given to political parties, NOT to random marketing.

That said, I did some volunteer work for a candidate a few years back (went door-to-door asking people to vote for our guy). I showed up at his campaign HQ introduced myself by first name and asked how I could help. They gave me a sheaf of printouts with names and addresses and sent me off ringing doorbells. There was no ID or authentication attempt and I've never been a member of any party (I just happened to like that particular candidate).

It's a pretty bad screw, voter info should be completely confidential. Sigh.

my new do not hire app (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891363)

Democrats and Liberals are business hostile. I applaud this new tool for qualifying hiring candidates.

Ok (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#40891377)

That's the last push I need to start the Mindyourownfuckingbusiness Party.

Why only for mobile users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40891391)

I'd like to try/use the app, but I don't own a smartphone. That I can't run its equivalent on my PC kinda pisses me off.

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