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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Growing pains

Oops. Apparently there's is a problem with using voter registration data to create a account on devalpatrick.com.

Secretary of State William Galvin correctly brought the hammer down on the use of street addresses and apartment numbers in the voter registration data used by the new site to sign up participants in Patrick's attempt at civic engagement.

His concerns about the misuse of that information against people with restraining orders -- not to mention basic privacy issues in this age of identity theft through phishing -- are legitimate. Kudos to Channel 5's Janet Wu for following up.

And I still don't like the idea of linking that information to a site that solicits campaign contributions.

Then there's the law the law of unintended consequences. The gang over at Red Mass. Group (they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery) is urging supporters to sign up and push for their own issues -- such as the income tax rollback.

Good for them. Maybe the Patrick folks expected an echo chamber, maybe not. Hopefully the discourse will be civil.

There's far to much effort to turn this into another gaffe. The concept of trying to promote public participation in cyberspace is a good one. Allow them some growing pains.

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