City of Philadelphia Shoots Privacy In Foot With New App
By Mordechai Osdoby. August 15, 2012, 12:33 PM CDT
Want to know who got turned down for a gun permit? Turns out that there’s an app for that, at least in Philadelphia. There, the Department of Licenses and Inspection decided to release a web app that shows an insane amount of detail, on a handy-dandy, easy to use map. You can use the map to check for lots of information, rental permits, zoning, and until early today, who was turned down for a gun permit.
That’s right, the city of Philadelphia lets you know exactly who might not have a gun, down to their street address. While the city has pulled this data, there’s a bit of an uproar over privacy concerns. There’s way too much personal information on this site. For example, I could locate the zoning permit for a day care, multiple renovation permits, vacant properties, and business violations. I’m a creative sort of fellow and can think of multiple ways to use that information to springboard an evil scheme or two.
Complaints about this web app should go beyond kicking off a discussion on gun owner’s rights. This is about more than that. I don’t care if the data pulled is about who owns a gun, a dog, or a car. There’s no reason all this data needs to be at anyone’s fingertips.
About Mordechai Osdoby
One of the co-founders of Techcitement, Mordechai is a man whose obsession with tech once led his wife to refer to a laptop as "the other woman".