American Made Media Consultants
Trump’s campaign started a company called American Made Media Consultants in 2018. It is an organization that holds the seller responsible for arranging and executing media buys and associated services at fair market value. It is impossible to track whom the campaign is paying, for what, and how much.
On May 27, Alan Knitowski, C.E.O. of Phunware, an Austin-based ad broker and software company, declared strategic association with American Made Media Consultants on development launch and ongoing management of Trump 2020 Reelection Campaign’s mobile application portfolio. Though there are no reports of Phunware showing up in the campaign, S.E.C. depicts that last year around four million dollars were paid by American Made Media Consultants.
Presidential campaigns use apps to extract data, but Trump’s app scoops out enormous amounts of data, such as identity, location, and controls the Bluetooth function of your phone. The Official Trump 2020 app is invading users’ privacy and collecting data in its desire.
Launch of the App
When the app was launched on April 23, Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, requested Trump’s followers on Facebook to download the Official Trump 2020 App. Excluding the hype, this Official Trump 2020 app recaptures many functions of the 2016 app.
About the app
The app constitutes a newsfeed with Trump’s social media posts, events, a calendar, and recorded videos. This also comes with gaming features that are the most contrasting from the 2016 app. Members from Trump’s army were promised a photograph with the President if the army member helps to gather a hundred thousand points, or raised money, while other members may use the points for discounts on MAGA gear. If users invite friends to download the app, then they will secure more points. One can use the app to sign up to make calls on behalf of the campaign, be a poll watcher, register voters, and get tickets virtually.
The newest feature of this Official Trump 2020 app is a live news broadcasting platform carefully chosen and thoughtfully organized by the campaign to push the President’s points. The cast of campaign surrogates hosting the app include Lara Trump, Eric Trump’s wife, Donald Trump, Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and the campaign’s national finance chair.
Channels focus on particular demographic groups, including Women for Trump, Black Voices for Trump, and Latinos for Trump. Trump’s app lets the users stay secluded within the Trump universe. This app seems to be a tool to implement that fight. In May, after Twitter declared one of his Tweets a violation of its standards, claims of liberal- media censorship of conservatives and soon the campaign app’s download drifts.
To get access to the Official Trump 2020 app, users must share cell phone numbers with the campaign. The golden key in politics is the cell phone number; it allows the extraction of the users’ identity from the database, including who they are, their voting history, etc. Michael Marinaccio, chief operating officer of Data Trust, a private republican company, recently added a sense of urgency of getting cell phone numbers in the voter file data.
This campaign’s policies collect information from G.P.S. and other location services, enabling tracking of the users’ activity around the Internet. Users reluctantly hand over the drive to access their phone’s Bluetooth connection, calendar, storage, and microphone. It also permits them to read the contents of your memory card, changes and removes the card’s contents, has a look at phone status and identity, views the Wi-Fi connections, and obstructs the phone from dying. The above permission gives this app a clear check to permeate an individual’s life in great detail; it seems more like stalking.
People reported that two days after downloading this Official Trump 2020 app, the President’s thank you note was received to join the team. Lara Trump invited them to become a Presidential adviser. Eric Trump then seemed to applaud the supporter. Then, every couple of hours, Trump’s campaign sent messages not only to the name and email address used while getting into the app, but letters were sent to the email address linked with the credit card, neither of which were shared with the campaign. This demonstrates that despite your efforts to conceal your identity, this app is capable of unveiling your truth, such as who and where you are.
Official Trump 2020 app compared with Team Biden’s app:
Access For Official Trump 2020 Team Biden
Phone identity Yes No
Bluetooth pairing Yes No
Modify or delete data Yes No
Finds accounts in the device Yes No
Calendar Yes No
Storage Yes No
Device ID Yes No
Receive data from the internet Yes Yes
Broadcast data messages Yes No
Full network access Yes Yes
Control vibration Yes Yes
Run at startup Yes Yes
These data are then used to construct a profile that can advertise to people like us. This app has received a great deal of criticism, not from the security aspect, as researchers did not expose it because this might allow hackers to access the data. In response, the campaign instantly fixed this bug but still maximized the data they could collect.
The Official Trump 2020 app was compiled with an older version of Android, which excluded some of the latest privacy updates and uses software provided by a Phunware company known for collecting people’s location information. Phunware has come under strict scrutiny recently for accepting the money.
Is it safe to use this app?
This app sounds quite scary as this can track all your movements with such accurate details. This might be impressive, but on the other hand, this app is intended for severe stalking of any individual. I disapprove of this app as the logarithm seems to be quite bad by invading the individuals’ privacy.
These campaign apps are part of our vast system of inspection in capitalism. They provide us with data about a campaign’s strongest supporters, but they are also designed to use the data to construct similar citizens’ lists. Meanwhile, they provide the infrastructure to help users in these closed media environments bring in like-minded people through relational organizing through the addictive engagement strategies that social media and apps have perfected in the past 20 years.