January 17 2013
Nothing comes free: If you want follow President Obama’s inauguration on the Inauguration Committee’s new app, it will cost you. No, there isn’t a hidden app tax, but you’ll be paying for it in compromised privacy.
Steven Friess with Politico reported that Democrats are mining data from users of the new inauguration application.
According to Politico’s Steven Friess:
The legalistic language also gives the PIC use of any activity, postings or comments made via the app or the 2013pic.org website "without limitation in advertising, fundraising and other communications in support of PIC and the principles of the Democratic party, without any right of compensation or attribution."
It’s a strikingly partisan side of the efforts from a group that is specifically referenced on the website of the U.S. Office of Governmental Ethics as “not a political organization.”
Strikingly partisan, because Obama’s former campaign manager, Jim Messina and his deputy Stephanie Cutter, are overseeing the event.
Even the Sunlight Foundation objected to partisan data mining:
“It seems like classic bait-and-switch,” said Kathy Kiely, managing editor of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit focused on fostering openness and transparency in government. “This is a committee that’s formed to throw a celebration for an event that should be nonpartisan. Theoretically, the whole country should be involved. It’s a patriotic, banners-and-bunting and parades kind of day. And oh, by the way, if you use this app, we may be harvesting your emails and sharing it with our friends in the Democratic Party.”
The inauguration committee’s actions reflect the President and promote further partisanship during a political stalemate. The inauguration means more than just crowning President Barack Obama and handing more power to the Democratic Party. It is supposed to be a celebration of democracy, the end of kingship and tyranny, and victory of freedom. Data mining those celebrating for political gain hardly seems fitting for the occasion.