Political candidates are tracking your phone to gain your vote
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Candidates running for political office in 2020 have the ability to track your phone without your knowledge.
Their goal is to target you with ads and text messages to try to drive you to the polls.
What many voters don’t realize is campaigns can now draw geo circles around event locations, like Hertz Arena, and once you step inside that circle, your information is up for grabs.
“I’m not surprised by that. I just feel that they’re trying to take any advantage they can so they can win the candidacy. Do whatever they can to win,” said voter Christopher Silva.
Each device has a personal ID that alerts data-mining companies of who you are, which allows the companies to build profiles for you based on your activity.
“All of your apps are open, and they’re tracking your movement,” said Christian Wartchow with CyberSecure IT Solutions.
Wartchow is a cybersecurity expert and said the data-mining companies are selling people’s information.
Wartchow said the companies “utilize it to market to your desires and your wishes.”
In this case, the companies may be marketing different political candidates you may be interested in.
“They’re kind of desperate. They really want the votes. They’ll do what they have to in order to win,” said voter Connie Lopez.
Political Consultant Dennis Pearlman, however, sees the issue a bit differently.
“It’s another way to get to the heart and mind and the checkmark of the voter,” Pearlman said.
Pearlman also said it allows candidates to laser focus on people who might vote for them.
“There’s nothing really wrong with data mining that information and pulling it all together for the good of the order. In this case, it’s my candidate,” Pearlman said.
And while data mining may be legal, some voters call it creepy.
“But for politicians, I feel like that is a gross violation of privacy, and that should not be allowed for them to do that,” said Jayden Cabrera.
If you don’t want your data being tracked by the campaigns, you may want to go into your phone’s privacy settings and turn off location services. That way, data-mining companies may not be able to track you.