Data Mining by … The President?

I almost let this story pass without comment, figuring in my infinite pettiness that, if you’re the kind of person who would download an app celebrating the reelection of a tyrant, you deserve to be spammed until you can’t tell a real email from a Nigerian erectile dysfunction cure.

(I said was a Christian. I didn’t say I was a good one.)

The Inaugural 2013 app has streaming, events, photos, and other appy goodness designed to help people attending the inauguration, or those just wanting to participate vicariously in the ongoing destruction of our country. It also has a nasty little EULA with all kinds of data-mining provisions. Here are the ToS and the Privacy Policy, which include a section that starts out like this:

It is our policy not to share the personal information we collect from you through our Sites with third parties, except as described in this Policy or as otherwise disclosed on the Sites. For example, we may share personal information as follows:

… and then goes on to offer absurdly broad categories of people or groups who will be able to exploit your data for fundraising or information gathering purposes. The language is so vague that it can be read to include anyone the “Presidential Inaugural Committee 2013″ wants to share with.

As AppAdvice points out, there is a skip option for registration, meaning you don’t have to share your mobile phone number to access the app…

… but since no one reads ToS, EULA, or other docs, no one will realize they’re consenting to data mining for the benefit of Democratic election committees when they hit the “Join Now” button.


How I Work: Jeff Miller, The Curt Jester
How I Work
Let's Choose Not To Be Manipulated
How I Work: Will Duquette
About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • victor

    And this isn’t the first time. There was something like this before the election, too, where the Obama 2012 Campaign app showed — on a map — the locations of the homes of anyone who was registered with the Obama campaign, for whatever reason.

    Ah, here it is:

  • victor

    …so I guess if you register with the Inaugural 2013 app, your address will be prominently displayed for canvassing purposes in the Obama 2016 app.

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    Coming soon: one entire google map of everything: Dems, gun owners, gays, Catholics, gay Catholics, gay Catholic Dem gun-owners, chickens, etc…

  • Linebyline

    There’s a “hunting and pecking” pun in there somewhere, but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.