Graphics of the day: The cultural differences between Democrats and Republicans

Both Obama and Romney’s sites allow, if not encourage, visitors to login to their campaign websites with a Facebook account, thereby unveiling a wealth of information: email address, friend list, birthday, gender, and user ID. Obama’s team, in accordance with the president’s call for greater transparency, details his campaign’s privacy policy in an exhaustive 2,600-word treatise. It begins like an online Miranda Rights: “Make sure that you understand how any personal information you provide will be used.” Then things get a little weird.

Among other points, the policy says the campaign can monitor users’ messages and emails between members, share their personal information with any like-minded organization it chooses, and follow up by sending them news it deems they’d find worthwhile. In other words, target anger points. Then there’s something called “passive collection,” which means cookies — lots and lots of cookies. Obama’s campaign, as well as third-party vendors working with, spray trackers so other websites can flash personalized ads based on knowledge of the trip to barackobama.com. And finally, near the end of the policy, comes one more caveat: “Nothing herein restricts the sharing of aggregated or anonymized information, which may be shared with third parties without your consent.”