Mar 052017
 March 5, 2017  Posted by  Breaches

From the what-goes-around-comes-around? dept., ANI reports:

Vice President Mike Pence has demanded that the Associated Press to apologize to his wife Karen after the news agency published her private email account.

Pence demanded an apology for revealing his wife’s email address in a story on the Vice President’s use of his personal email account to conduct state business while he was Indiana governor.

Pence complained that releasing the address of his wife, Karen Pence, was “violating her privacy and our security.”


Now as a privacy advocate, I’m obviously a bit sympathetic to this issue. Pence’s lawyers sent a letter to the AP that said, in part:

“The publication of Mrs. Pence’s active private email address to millions of your readers has subjected her to vitriolic and malicious emails and raised security concerns. There was absolutely no reason to publish this private email address, and you should be ashamed of your reprehensible conduct,” the letter continued.

“I am unaware of the press publishing the private e-mail account of any previous second lady, who is not, as you are well aware, an elected official.”

And on that, I agree with him. As I have argued repeatedly over the years,  even celebrities and public figures have a right to privacy, and what newsworthy function was served by posting Ms. Pence’s email address? It would have been enough to note that she used an AOL account. As subsequent statements reveal, the AP may not have known she was still using that account, but then, why not apologize if it was an error? Instead, they neither retracted the original story nor apologized for it.

You may not like Pence or his boss, but I do hope my readers will think about the implications of this case. Of course, you may rightly point out that Pence and his boss showed no aversion to using the emails of others when they were leaked on WikiLeaks and expressed no outrage that non-public figures may have had their email addresses exposed. Instead, Pence’s comment on WikiLeaks was

“I think all of us have had concerns about WikiLeaks over the years, and it’s just a reality of American life today, and of life in the wider world.”

Welcome to the reality of American life today, Mr. Vice-President? Or help us change it to better protect privacy.

  One Response to “Pence demands apology from AP for publishing his wife’s AOL email address”

  1. Maybe this is life’s lesson to teach the Pence family about the right to privacy. People tend to realize it is an issue when it happens to them.

    Let’s hope VP Pence will not blindly look the other way on privacy issues now that he had a harsh lesson on this subject matter.

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