Hillary Clinton has been touted as the “privacy candidate” for the 2008 Presidential elections, which is certainly a good reason to consider voting for her (not my sole criterion, but one of the top 5).
This recent NY Times story, however, casts a cloud over any claim she might be able to make as an advocate for privacy rights. It appears that both Bill and Hillary Clinton have benefited from their close relationship to Vinod Gupta, founder of infoUSA, one of the largest brokers of personal information. You might recall that infoUSA was recently implicated in an investigation that found they had, perhaps knowingly, sold consumer data to telemarketing criminals who used it to steal money from elderly Americans.
I’m sure this story will get a lot of play due to the potential ethical violations of taking gifts during a campaign, but equally important is the nature of who the Clintons appear to be benefiting from – a privacy-violating information broker. This part of the story deserves additional attention.