Trump and Biden Presidential Campaign Data Gathering, How Are We Going With Voter Manipulation?

Many organizers, volunteers and voters have downloaded the campaign app “Vote Joe"And"Official Trump 2020 App”(The“ Trump App ”) for“ exclusive content and campaign updates ”. In order to download it, they must provide their phone number, full names, email and zip code.

The "Vote Joe" application requests access to the user's contact list, while the Trump application requires permission to access the device's GPS and bluetooth data. For what purposes do you require this information?

In the case of the Democrats (Biden) the objective is the "relational organizational", that is, they seek to get their supporters to approach friends and family to get more voters. That is why they ask for access to phone contacts, in order to relate a user's contacts with the national voter registry, in this way, they can organize friends and family by political affiliation, voting history, etc. he pointed CNBC. With all this information, they have a clearer outline of what the campaign focuses will be, which groups to give more attention and relevant information to.

In this regard, Sam Woolley, director of the propaganda research project at the University of Texas stated: “the best way to manipulate someone is to get someone you care to share information with them".

In the case of the Trump App, the approach is different. Basically, they are focused on gathering information, all that is necessary to know their voters. This application gives you access to news, creates media and is also a platform for virtual events.

Do you remember that they required access to GPS data? The apparent reason is to inform users of events close to the area they are in, but clearly this information could be used for many other purposes. In fact, Woolley argued: “They want to know if you go to church on Sunday, if you go to the shooting range, or if you go to the abortion clinic. And then once they have that kind of information, they can triangulate that information with other data points that they have to really engage you with personalized advertising.”. Indeed, having access to a person's location information can tell a lot about them, including information that you don't share with anyone else and that you might want to keep confidential.

The central point is that users can know the real purpose that is given to their data. They should be able to control it, after all, that's what owning your data is all about.

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Marilú Lazo
Lawyer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). Director of The Crypto Legal Blog, she has experience in corporate advice, consumer protection, as well as in matters of personal data protection and new technologies.


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