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Your Neighbors' Politics

I heard an interview on NPR the other day with a guy who does background checks -- to find out, among other things, if a potential employee has any criminal record. (See "Bill to Seal Some Illinois Criminal Records, Part Two.") It's amazing just how much information about us is, officially, in the public record. The thing is, it used to be that you needed to hire a professional background checker who knew how to get at it. Either that or have the time yourself to dig through dusty file cabinets all over the country. Say goodbye to all that. Now anybody with a browser and some free time at work can find out a helluva lot about you -- and follow the digital paper trail right to your doorstep. Today, in the NYT, there's
an article on Fundrace.org, where you can check up on your neighbors' politics. Most information about us that's in the public record -- like sex-offense convictions and political contributions -- is public for good reason.... But, you know what, now I'm glad I didn't give any money to that DNC fundraiser who knocked on my door last week.

May 20, 2004 in Private / Public | Permalink


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Updated: May 8, 2004
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