Will Spam be the Booby Prize in the Debate Lottery?

The Texas Democractic Party took a pummeling when it announced the public would not be allowed to attend the presidential debate here in Austin. So, they carved out a small block of seats and setup a drawing to give them away.

The Statesman is reporting this morning that 20,000 people have signed up for the 100 seats.

I can calculate the odds of getting a seat and they aren't looking too good: currently 1 in 200 and dropping fast. So, a lot of people are going to be sad losers in this lottery. Even worse, I fear they may end up with a booby prize: a bunch of spam.

You (obviously) need to provide all your contact information to enter the drawing. The web page, however, doesn't specify what the group will do with the private information it collects. The Texas Democratic Party web site does have a privacy policy, but it doesn't shed any light on this situation.

The signup form does not provide an option to be added to the Democractic Party lists. So, the immediate concern is whether that's because they decided to collect all the names entered and add them to contact lists without option to opt in or out. In this case, the chance of spam is near certainty.

Or, more charitably, maybe there is no option because this was all done in extreme haste and nobody thought to provide one. In this case, even though there is no immediate intent to spam, the temptation will be so great that the names almost certainly will be added to the organization's contact lists. Without clarity in the privacy policy or stated intent on the signup page, there is nothing to prevent that from happening.

So, it's already clear to me who the winner of this debate will be: The Texas Democractic Party. By releasing a small number of tickets, they are going to achieve a marketing bonanza: a massive, high quality marketing list with tens of thousands of pre-qualified contacts that can be sold or spammed.

Comments

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I feel so dumb

Wow, those odds are even worse than Butt-Numb-a-Thon. I feel like such a dumbass. Now you will mock me when I get phoned during dinner, and spammed, and all that.

oh really...

That's why everyone need a spam email address, for signing up for stuff that you rarely check. Anyone without one of these is probably might want to consider getting one... fast... and you can even use mailinator.com it's a good resource.