Here's Ethan Roeder -- the Obama campaign digital director -- telling us "I am Not Big Brother".
This ran on the very front page of the digital version of the New York Times in the center with huge visibility.
It's interesting that somebody besides me must have started to complain about all this digital scraping that Personal Democracy and Tech President have been touting uncritically -- to the point where they felt they had to engineer themselves a spot on the New York Times op-ed page, which they had no trouble getting (to help silence critics of the way Obama does things, I guess).
If you click on Ethan Roeder's name at the end of his column, it takes you right to his bio at Personal Democracy, in case you had trouble "following the networks". Small wonder Andrew Rasej is trying to downplay the Obama data grab.
The Times has no comments open under this brazen thing, but you could go to the Politico discussion.
Let me say this: the guy who is making the big data heist is hardly the one to be the judge also of whether he is Big Brother or not. Say, that logic works a lot like the Soviet/Russian prosecutorial system, where the prosecutor monitors himself.
And the data wasn't always willingly imparted, as we know there are not just non-Democrats in the files, but Democrats who didn't think they were helping the Obama campaign from their Facebook clicks.
It doesn't matter if it is aggregated or already "open to the public" -- what we saw in the prototyping of Second Life is that people really hated it when data-harvesters took data from them that was technically public, but not combined with other data. Like proximity data -- not only what they said, but who they said it to, or where they were geolocated. It's not about "open data"; it's about what you're doing with it.
Of course the Obama campaign mined the data to then tell the "stories" they developed to stampede people -- the "war on women" was pitched out to the single women in their 20s and 30s to scarify them; "voter suppression" was pitched to minorities to scarify them, and so on. What we know from TechPresident is that the campaign deliberately cherry-picked its own campaign messages to tailor to audiences -- which is done by all politicians, but still dishonest and now accelerated behind belief
The "Big Brother" oped also doesn't tell us what the campaign will do with the data -- as we know, they are hogging it.
Here's a handy list of "everything we know" about this campaign, according to ProPublica. But what PP misses is the storifying -- the concoction of the stories like the "war on women" or even "what would you do with $2000" and how that gets done and pitched and how it manipulates people.