Inauguration committee clarifies how app collects data
By Hayley Tsukayama,
The Presidential Inaugural Committee has clarified how the app it released to provide the public with more information about the big event Monday deals with personal data.
Earlier this week, Politico reported that the app and PIC Web site may add unwitting users to the rolls of possible donors for the Democratic Party by collecting e-mails, phone numbers and home addresses.
PIC national spokeswoman Addie Whisenant confirmed in a statement to The Post that the Web site allows PIC to share information “in ways consistent with its mission.” But the app itself, the group said, is far more limited when it comes to collecting personal information.
By design, the app allows — but does not require — users to submit their cellphone numbers and location information. Without that information, parts of the app do not fully function, but users can access things such as news and video on the app without giving up any information. In other words, it’s perfectly possible to use the app without giving anything away.
“Contrary to some concerns, the app only collects one sort of user data: cellphone numbers that users voluntarily share and can opt out of sharing, for use in sending texts to users – such as late-breaking changes and emergency updates,” said PIC national spokeswoman Addie Whisenant in a statement to The Post. “The app has no way to collect e-mails, names or other personal information from users.”
But simply downloading and using the app without signing up for alerts or updates, the group said, will not automatically collect any information.
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