Obama for America? It’s for iOS and now Android too.
President Obama’s campaign after releasing their iPhone app last week, has successfully released its Android app too. The Android app has been released as promised; POLITICO was informed by a campaign official. Both the iOS and Android versions are available for free download from the official Barack Obama website.
The release of apps on iOS and Android is a part of Obama’s aggressive re-election campaigning which is overtly keyed up on generating cumbrous mass-appeal.
The app allows volunteers to look-up political events, access voter information (already public information like first name and last initial, age, gender and street address) find nearby neighbors to canvass and directly make donations to the campaign. It also provides voters information about the newly framed voter laws and also portrays the president’s impact in certain states.
The app however enrages privacy activists, who are clearly infuriated by the app’s audacious motives. Some of the capabilities of the apps like mapping democratic voters and canvassing strategies can very easily be manipulated for deleterious uses.
For instance, the app gives the first name, age, address and gender of every voter enlisted in the database. That is ironic, considering that this could potentially discourage participation.
However, an aide to the campaign assured media source that they take privacy very seriously and would be wary of any inappropriate use of the app. They however cleared their stand by saying that the app does not provide any new information. It just provides information which is already available in the public domain.
“The main objective behind the app was to simplify the working of volunteers. By providing them convenient options online, they no longer need to report to offices offline. ” the campaign aide said.
The motives of the app might be altruistic but the ease with sensitive information can be accessed freely is inarguably a cause of worry.
The concern is not what is at stake, but what has been put for it.
Power often costs too much.