Arizona Politician Accused Of Using Voter Database To Stalk Young Woman

from the database-abuse dept

We've talked in the past about how pretty much any government database eventually gets abused by someone looking for info about someone beyond the scope of what the database is for, and now Michael Scott points us to news of how the executive director of the Arizona Republican Party, Bruce Mecum, has been accused of using the party's voter database to stalk a female grad student. This isn't a "government" database, as it's just the political party's database. But, the database is used like a marketing database to better target messages. Or stalking opportunities, which apparently seriously creeped out some people. The response from the party's treasurer wasn't exactly reassuring:
"He used Voter Vault. The The Republican National Committee owns Voter Vault....It's a private list. We own the list. We can do what we want with the list, quite frankly."
Including stalking? This isn't a "Republican" thing either. I'm sure some Democrats misuse their databases as well, so hopefully the comments can avoid blindly supporting or hating on this or that political party. The key point here is that it's yet another example of a database that's supposed to be used for one purpose, being used for stalking instead.

Filed Under: arizona, database, stalking

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  1. identicon
    Brad Morrison, 18 Dec 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Felony, FYI

    The original article states, "In fact, it is a felony to use the voter registration database (aka Voter Vault) for anything other than official purposes. In Arizona, misuse of the voter registration database is a Class 6 felony, which means Mecum could face a couple of years in the clink if convicted. If the staffer knew why he was looking up the woman's information, the staffer could also face charges. Additionally, to access Voter Vault, which is a customized interface for the database, the user must sign an agreement with the Republican Party saying they will only use the database for party-related business."

    Wait a minute ... isn't AZ the home of that bat$#!+ crazy sheriff?

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