Inaugural app

The Presidential Inauguration is next Monday, and I was all geared up to tell everyone about the Inaugural 2013 app from AT&T and PIC. It's a beautifully done application, has received rave reviews from the folks who have installed it and looks like it would be really helpful for anyone going to the festivities over the weekend as well as the Inauguration itself. But as Politico notes, there's a bit of a thing here -- according to the application's privacy policy it appears that the app is mining your data and sending it off to "candidates, organizations, groups or causes that we believe have similar political viewpoints, principles or objectives."

The election's over. But make no mistake, this is not a nonpartisan inauguration application. That's not to say it's not a fine app -- it is. And that's not to say it's evil -- it's not. But it belongs to the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2013, and so does any data it collects from you. If you're cool with that, then cool. It's just something to be aware of. 

I'm not a big conspiracy nut. I understand why apps ask for permissions like reading contact data or your phone's wake state, and it's usually always for a good reason. But this is a bit over the top for me. It may be normal for political groups to share supporter data with like-minded people, but that's just not good practice in a smartphone application. The data that Inaugural 2013 needs to help you get around and make the most of a weekend in the nation's capital just doesn't need to be going anywhere else.

So I'm going to advise everyone not to use the Inaugural 2013 app, and that's a shame. I'll keep looking for an alternative.