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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Minnesota Republican Party Data Mining CD

The blogosphere is abuzz with the story Bob Collins at Minnesota Public Radio broke on his blog. The Drama Queen is in overdrive spinning and spinning the Republican Party of Minnesota Damage Control with trademark ad hominem attacks.

Bob Collins commented on the Drama Queen's post:

Michael. I've actually already said this is several of the postings. This appears to be the tack the spin is going to take and as I told Mark Drake, it would be a mistake since the blogosphere is pretty tech savvy and they'll take you apart.

You have to understand what a Flash program is. The beauty and versatility of Flash is its interactvity. So when you answer a question in Flash, it can reasonably be expected to lead you to a different part of the presentation. You don't know.

The CD isn't being mailed to just Republicans so, theoretically, once you revealed yourself to be, for example, a STRONG Democrat, you could get a different presentation that approaches the issue differently. THAT's the beauty of Flash.

So, no, it's not really a reasonable expectation to say if you click something in Flash, you should know where the information goes.

And the folks who wrote the privacy laws in Minnesota know that too. The problem is, this stuff didn't exist when the laws were the laws pertain only to what ISPs doing.

The guy who co-wrote that law, by the way, was Tim Pawlenty. So you may take issue with what I think about the privacy of personal data...but you might want to take it up with him too.

Bob Collins has followed up on the story today.

Think Progress picked up on this right away. The Think Progress link was posted on Slashdot.

David Ruth, Communications Director for the DFL puts a wrapup of this on the DFL blog. DFL Chair, Brian Melendez issued a statement condemning the Republican Party for this.