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Thursday, August 30, 2012

One more political rant- privacy violations

I already semi ranted about this on Facebook and Twitter. But I'm going to go off a little longer... I am REALLY frustrated that the political campaigns feel the need to constantly violate my privacy.

I started realizing it with the political popup ads. I have a popup blocker and I constantly have to temporarily disable it to do my banking. But... when I am surfing the web, minding my own business, I get political pop up ads.

Here's what bothers me about this. I honestly think that popup ads, especially ones that are this aggressive, are serious violations of privacy. I've purposely set my computer to not receive them, and yet they still appear. I'm tired of the tracking cookies that watch the sites I visit, and when I visit political sites because I want to research the candidates so I can vote based on education, I find that future sites I visit have ads for the political party I was most recently researching.  I'm sorry, but I do not trust a candidate who is willing to SPY on my internet activity to have my best interests at heart. Someone who is willing to disregard my decision to not have popups on my computer does not care about me or my family.

Now, for those of you who want to say, "but my political party or candidate isn't doing that," let me tell you that you are probably wrong, unless you are for a third party. Both Democrats and Republicans, as well as their supporting PACs and special interest groups, are doing this. In addition to the Internet ads, I am bombarded with phone calls. We get at least 5 political calls a day, and we're on the "Do not call" list. Apparently, it doesn't apply to political calls, and I think that's wrong. If I don't want people invading my space with their calls, I should have the right to say no. I should also mention the political candidates who ring my doorbell and wake me up from my nap to ask for my vote. Since you aren't capable of reading my "No Soliciting" sign, I'm not sure I trust you to be capable of reading the information necessary to properly represent my interests. And yes, I consider the candidate who left flyers on my door (right next to the "No Soliciting" sign) also violating my privacy. How can you "care about the environment" when you just wasted paper and ink on those glossy full color brochures that are going directly to my round file?

I understand the candidates are trying to get the word out. But honestly? When you invade my world with things I have specifically asked not to have (popups, tracking cookies, phone calls, visits to my house), you aren't getting the word out. You're pissing me off. Last presidential election, I commented that I was voting for the person who called me the least. This year, I'm voting for whoever violates my trust the least. Right now, the third parties are in the lead. It really is too bad that Ralph Nader isn't running this year, because he probably would have gotten my vote.

Candidates, if you want to restore whatever it is your campaign slogan says you're doing for America, start with restoring respectful treatment of the people you're supposed to be representing. Don't let your advertising and efforts to get elected cross the line into areas where people have asked you not to go. This year, I will not vote for it.


Sara said...

I don't doubt that the harassment you're experiencing is unwarranted and intrusive. But rather than blame the candidates exclusively, consider the blame that should fall on the Electoral College as well. You must live in a swing state; I'm an undecided voter as well, but I've never had a candidate, from either party, call me, send a pop-up ad my way, or knock on my door. The reason: I live in a state that is so comfortably inclined in one party's direction, neither candidate thinks it worth his while to talk to me. In a democracy where everyone is supposed to have a voice, and a vote that counts, the Electoral College is making you be harassed while no national candidate will ever bother with me. I think I'd like to switch places, if only for a little while, just to experience what it's like to be courted like that!

Jana said...

I feel you. I somehow got on some sort of email list for a particular party so my hotmail account is bombarded with emails about whoever is their hot candidate for the moment. No idea how I got on that list since I never register or sign up for ANYTHING unless it's necessary to purchase a product--and sometimes even then! I haven't had trouble with the pop-ups yet but the ads...yeah, I hate having my "interests" tracked and then targeted at me. Blech!

DanicaFavorite said...

Sara, I'd happily trade places with you! And yes, I am in a swing state, so I know that's part of the issue. We get this every election, and it kind of stinks. Because we're not really being courted, we're being pummeled with propaganda.

DanicaFavorite said...

Yeah, I know... I have that too. Fortunately, hotmail is my spam account so I pretty much ignore and delete everything in that one. :)