Lolo, a rock hard Republican, is getting emails from the Obama campaign.

Right now, they average two a day, and are asking for money, even though he has never given out the email to the voter registration people, nor has given to the Democratic party.

So what is going on? I suspect it might be via Facebook, because we are registered on Facebook using his email (whereas I use another email for my blog, and a third email for private messages, including newsletters from the Democrats Abroad).

I use Facebook to sign into Discus to make comments on articles, so an alternative is that someone mined the email from comments.

It’s getting annoying: even the “Spam blocker” won’t stop them, and I don’t want to “unlock” the email to find the address to stop it.

So what is going on here? Are the Democrats mining our emails to harass us for money?

Maybe, says both Gizmodo and Mother Jones.

From the MoJo article:

One of the campaign’s most useful innovations in 2008 was to create a social-media platform,, that encouraged its 2 million members to log in with their Facebook accounts. Those who did consented to the campaign’s harvesting some of their Facebook data…

Really? Lolo signed up with

All of this is, of course, the tip of the iceburg: Google already monitors your email account so they can put up ads that interest you. And now Google will give you different results when you search, according to your history.

But businesses have done this for years: Amazon will “recommend” books and films for you, for example, and then there are all those “Nigerian email scams” asking for money, not to mention girls who really want to meet you and emails selling the little blue pill of happiness.

So should you be worried?

Well, probably not. Or not yet.

But big brother is watching you, and Facebook is helping them: there is even a “facial recognition” idea on Facebook, where they are gathering a database.

The Face Facts meeting raised an alarm for privacy organizations; Privacy Rights Clearinghouse director Beth Givens stated outright that there is insufficient public awareness about all aspects of facial recognition tech, and zero auditing mechanisms in place for any entity using the technologies. Six months after the FTC meeting, Facebook acquired one of the biz-dev side participants,

It’s clear that after meetings and summits, even with good intentions for privacy protections, regulators like the FTC are merely only still on the outside looking in. Ties between video profiling in private and government sectors more murky than ever Back in July at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing Senator Al Franken said, “Facebook may have created the world’s largest privately held database of face prints without the explicit knowledge of its users.”

Even Al Franken is worried?! Good. Because one of the emails was from the Minnesota Democratic party…

So the Obama campaign is stalking my husband, almost anyone can access our facebook page and find a photo of Lolo, along with his name, address, marital status, job, much about his past history, etc.

So what can we do about it?

Maybe get the word out that anything we write on line can be snooped into, not just by the FBI, but by “private” organizations and businesses.

I recently read that almost half of folks are now refusing to cooperate with opinion polls because they ask personal questions that could theoretically be put into a data base.

Maybe we should start a campaign to “just say no” and lie to facebook too.

And one related question I would like to ask the Obama campaign:

How exactly would I know that an unsolicited email from a political party that my husband doesn’t belong to is really from them, and not a Russian hacker trying to hijack his credit card number?


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She blogs at Finest Kind clinic and fishmarket.

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