Google Checkout And Political Donations: A Perfect Data Storm

The Presidential candidates can use Google Checkout to collect donations from their supporters--and even allow supporters to place a Google Checkout button on their own Web page, blog or social network profile to help solicit more donations.

But Kaitlyn Smeland brings up the issue of the wealth of data that Google could mine from these donations--including contributor's names, addresses, employment and other demographic info, past purchases and buying patterns if they had an existing Google Checkout account, and search history if they had an iGoogle homepage.

While Google should be commended for helping to make politics more personal and immediate with Checkout, Smeland says that the process raises the ever-present question of "how much we trust services like Google with our information."

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