If you donate to a political campaign, are you OK with that organization making the following information available on line: Your full name, your age, your phone number, your gender and hometown?
If not, I hope you didn’t donate to…Organizing For America.
Organizing For America, or “OFA,” is the Democratic Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) organization that grew out of President Obama’s campaign organization. It’s now morphed into a Democratic support organization. Not surprisingly, it’s encouraging people to call prospective Democrat voters and motivate them to vote. Nothing wrong, or surprising, with that.
But, if you’d contributed to OFA, or…oh, I don’t know…given them your personal information, perhaps you’d have expected them to safeguard it.
Bryan Preston of “Pajamas Media*,” a conservative-and-libertarian-leaning online site, went to the OFA site and looked up its online calling support operation. He found that, if you wanted to do GOTV calling, OFA had a page that would give you a phone number and a person to call.
It also gave you more information about that person. A LOT more.
I now have five new telephone pals in North Carolina, if I want them: Anna, Joyce, Tawanna, Juliette and George. I also have their middile names, genders, ages and hometowns. I got all that in less than one minute of playing with the OFA website.
And, I don’t have to be a Democratic Party supporter. I could be a telemarketer overseas, an identity thief, a person who just likes calling people…
Bryan Preston, of Pajamas Media:
This is NOT standard practice for political parties. When a party has a volunteer work their phone bank, they typically have the phone bank worker sign documentation (paper or digitally), usually stating that they won’t misuse the information to which they are being granted access. The phone bank typically controls access either with a password account if the system is online, or by physically limiting access to where they have the phone bank if it’s an office style set-up. You don’t just let any person wander in off the street, rifle through your voter files and make calls on your behalf.
Well…at least on the Republican side you don’t. Hey, maybe Democrats are cool with this…I don’t know; I’m not a Democrat.
* “Pajamas Media” got its name from a MSM figure who insulted bloggers as just being people “in their pajamas.” Shortly thereafter, bloggers at “Powerline” and “Little Green Footballs” brought down Dan Rather and Mary Mapes of “60 Minutes,” over the Bush Texas National Guard memos.
Maybe there were in their pajamas at the time.