The Americans Elect corporation has made a pretty interesting release of a Google map of its “Campus Leaders” tasked with organizing students to participate in the nation’s first ever privatized online presidential nomination, taking place in just 110 days’ time. It’s interesting for two reasons:
1. Inadvertently or on purpose, Americans Elect has released data on the personal location, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of 194 students. Does Americans Elect hope you’ll contact these students? Or was the Google Map with communication links intended for internal use only, and inadvertently made public? I don’t know the answer. But regardless of Americans Elect’s intention, all of us can know the personal contact information of these 194 college students. In the age of privacy concerns, I sincerely can’t decide whether that’s a breath of fresh air or creepy.
2. 76% of the Americans Elect Campus Leaders are male. I went through all 194 names and, where there was any doubt as to the possible gender of the Campus Leader, looked through social media accounts, newspaper articles and other public information to clarify (4% of names were still a mystery in the end). Only 20% of the Campus Leaders for Americans Elect are verifiably women.