How Facebook and Google Rock at Privacy

Some people are concerned when it comes to privacy but every time you enter your email address into a form on a website someone collects that data. Every time someone visits a page it is logged; every time you use a service it is your responsibility to be aware (caveat emptor) of what data is being transmitted.

A firm that gives you the option to opt-out of their data collection is 2 steps ahead of what they have to be and it satiates the bloodlust that privacy junkies feel. A firm with a clear privacy policy that outlines what data it keeps is leading the charge in privacy. Your credit card company tracks every purchase you ever made and if they wanted to could use that or sell it to the highest bidder and absolutely no one cares.

So why do people get concerned when a socially responsible firm publically tells you that they are changing their privacy policies and settings? Facebook was remarkably above the curve. consists of 5 million members. All of whom could be contacted to act on a campaign. Each member’s data is shared with the Democrat’s version of Voter Vault and many other third parties. A firm that keeps its data in a silo meant only for its organization is a privacy giant that should be celebrated and not attacked.

Google keeps its data on you secure and private and in fact you can manage what they keep on you by visiting Their views on privacy and security are built to protect your data while simultaneously helping them develop better products for you. Google is the shining beacon of privacy in our modern world.

If you are interested, below is the Privacy Policy(emphasis added) of the DNC/OFA’s voter registration site meant to help gather personal information for their candidates. Their form includes a request of your Social Security Number. If someone should be concerned with privacy it should be targeted not at Facebook or other sites that take a step above the curve but at sites that don’t even give you an opt-out button. Privacy Policy
Date of Last Revisions: APRIL 26, 2010
Privacy Policy
This privacy policy (“Policy”) explains how personal information is collected, used, and disclosed with respect to your use of the Vote 2010 web site located at (the “Site”) operated by the Democratic National Committee (“DNC,” ‘we” or “us”). (“DNC”, “we” or “us”) so you can make an informed decision about using the Sites. Please read this Privacy Policy before using these Sites or submitting any personal information to us. By accessing or using the Site, you consent to the information collection described in this Policy.
We reserve the right to change the provisions of this Policy at any time. We will alert you that changes have been made by indicating on the Policy the date it was last updated. Your use of any of the Site following the posting of such changes shall constitute your consent to any such changes. We encourage you to review the Policy whenever you visit the Site to make sure that you understand how any personal information you provide will be used.
As used herein, the term “personal informationmeans information that specifically identifies an individual (such as a name, address, telephone number, mobile number, e-mail address, or other account number), and information about that individual’s location or activities, such as information about his or her use of the Site, when directly linked to personally identifiable information. Personal information also includes demographic information such as date of birth, gender, geographic area and preferences when such information is linked to other personal information that identifies you. Personal information does not include “aggregate” information, which is data we collect about the use of the Sites or about a group or category of users, from which individual identities or other personal information has been removed. This policy in no way restricts or limits our collection and use of aggregate information.
Active Collection:
Personal information may be collected in a number of ways when you visit the Site. We may collect certain information you voluntarily provide to us which may contain personal information. For example, we may collect your name, address, phone number, mobile number, email address and other contact and demographic information when you use the Registration Form Tool on the Site, request information, sign up to be a volunteer, make a donation, request voter registration or polling location information, make a purchase, use a service on the Sites or contact us by e-mail or other means. Personal and demographic information may also be collected if you provide such information in connection with creating a profile or blog, leaving comments, posting content, sending an email or message to another user or participating in any interactive forums or features on the site. In addition, from time to time we may collect demographic, contact or other personal information you provide in connection with your participation in surveys, contests, games, promotional offers, and other activities on the Site. In addition, if any donations are made through the Site, the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) may require us to collect certain personal information from donors. For example, the FEC requires us to collect (and disclose) the name, mailing address, occupation and employer of all individuals whose donations exceed $200 per calendar year. Please note that you may also provide either your driver’s license number, your social security number or the last four digits of your social security number in connection with using the Registration Form Tool, but that information is deleted after the form is printed, so we do not retain it.
Passive Collection:
When you use the Site, some information is also automatically collected, such as your Internet Protocol (IP) address, your operating system, the browser type, the address of a referring web site, and your activity on the Site. We treat this information as personal information if we combine it with or link it to any of the identifying information mentioned above. Otherwise, it is used in the aggregate only.
We may automatically collect certain information through the use of “cookies” Or “web beacons.” Cookies are small data files that are stored on a user’s hard drive at the request of a Web site to enable the site to recognize users who have previously visited them and retain certain information such as customer preferences and history. If we combine cookies with or link them to any of the personally identifying information, we would treat this information as personal information. Web beacons (also know as clear gifs) are small, invisible graphic images that may be used on the Site or in emails relating to the Site to collect certain information and monitor user activity on the Site. If you wish to block, erase, or be warned of cookies, please refer to your browser manufacturer to learn about these functions. However, if a browser is set not to accept cookies or if a user rejects a cookie, some portions of the Site may not function properly.
In general, we use personal information we collect:
• to process your requests or transactions;
• to remind you to send in your voter registration form and to vote;
• to provide you with information or services you request or that we think will be of interest to you (including without limitation information to keep you informed about various campaigns, candidates, issues, events, resources, promotions, contests, products and services);
• to assist you in finding your registration information and polling location;
• to help connect you with other supporters, and to solicit volunteers, donations and support for the DNC and for candidates, issues and organizations that we support;
• to facilitate your use of, and our administration and operation of, the Site;
• to respond to your emails, submissions, comments or requests; and
• for any purpose for which the information was provided.
It is our policy not to share personal information collected through the Site with third parties except as described in this Policy or as disclosed on the Site. For example, we may share personal information as follows:
with vendors, consultants and other service providers or volunteers who are engaged by or working with us and who need access to such information to carry out their work for us;
• when you give us your consent to do so, including if we notify you on the Site that the information you provide will be shared in a particular manner and you provide such information; and
• with candidates, organizations, groups or causes that we believe have similar political viewpoints, principles or objectives;
• when we believe in good faith that we are lawfully authorized or required to do so (e.g. sharing certain donor information with the FEC) or that doing so is reasonably necessary or appropriate to comply with the law or with legal process or authorities (e.g., a lawful subpoena, warrant, or court order);
• to enforce or apply this Policy, our Terms of Use, or our other policies or agreements;
• to respond to claims; and to protect the rights, safety or property of this campaign, other website users, or any other persons from fraudulent, abusive, harmful or unlawful activity.
Note that nothing herein restricts the sharing of aggregate information, which may be shared with third parties without your consent. We are not responsible for the actions of any third parties, nor are we responsible for any additional information you provide directly to these third parties, and we encourage you to become familiar with their practices before disclosing additional personal information directly to them.
Online petitions:
When you sign and an online petition, you understand that we may make such petition, and your name, city, state, and any comments provided in connection therewith publicly available. In addition, we may, provide such petitions or compilations thereof, including your comments, name, city and state to national, state or local leaders or to the press.
Interactive Features:
If the Site includes any interactive features, such as forums, blogs, comments, and other interactive areas of the Site that enable you to post any content, then any personal information that you post to such interactive areas will be available to other users and in some cases may be publicly available.. We cannot control how other users use or disclose such Personal Information that you make available. Therefore, we recommend you be cautious about giving out personal information to others or sharing personal information in public or private online forums. We are not responsible for the actions of any third parties with whom you share personal information.
You may opt out of receiving text message or email updates or newsletters from us by following the instructions in those text messages and emails or by opting out when you use the Registration Form Tool. Please note that we may still send you other types of emails such as emails about your registration form or the use of our Site even if you opt out of receiving email updates and newsletters.
Our web site may contain links to other web sites. Any personal information you provide on the linked pages is provided directly to that site and is subject to that web sites privacy policy. We are not responsible for the content or privacy and security practices and policies of web sites to which we link. We encourage you to learn about their privacy and security practices and policies before providing them with personal information.
We take reasonable measures to protect your personal information in an effort to prevent loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this Policy or our use of personal information, please contact us at