EightMaps.com and the Future of Public Records

EightMaps.com is an interesting mashup of Google maps and publicly available information on donors to the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 which narrowly passed in California. So you can select where you live and see if anyone nearby donated to a pro-Proposition 8 group.

It would, of course, be just as easy to set up a similar application showing who donated to groups opposed to Proposition 8 (my wife did even though I told her it was going to pass), so presumably my house would show up on such a mashup.

But using public records, we could get at a lot of interesting data. For example, I’m assuming that marriage records in California are public, so someone opposed to gay marriage could create¬† a mashup showing the homes of every single gay couple married in California prior to the passage of Proposition 8 (which would include quite a few people who are not residents of California).

All-in-all, this sort of use of public records in general seems abusive and I suspect over time will lead us to reconsider the wisdom of making so many records public. Frankly, I’ve never thought political donations should be public records. The interest in preventing corruption is more than overwhelmed by the chilling effect that mashups like this will increasingly cause.

2 thoughts on “EightMaps.com and the Future of Public Records”

  1. DomainsByProxy is Owned by Starfield, which is GoDaddy.

    If anyone “of means” reading this wants to put a stop to this idiot, then post here that you would be willing to offer any GoDaddy employee $50,000 for the Identity and CC info of the eightmaps.com Domain owner. If handled correctly, eveything can be done discreetly for both parties. Then, the buyer can post the identity on the web for ALL to see who this hypocritical coward is.

    Any takers?

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