Presidential campaign apps expose personal data, report says

Presidential campaign apps expose personal data, report says
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Over half of presidential campaign-related smartphone apps on Android devices are exposing users' sensitive data, according to new research.

Presidential campaigns — and the groups that support them — are increasingly using smartphone apps to try to attract voters. Yet those behind these apps have not taken proper steps, in many cases, to secure the vast troves of data they are collecting, digital security firm Symantec said Monday.


Republican candidates John Kasich and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUS has seen 45 mass shootings in the past month The Hill's 12:30 Report: Nearly half of U.S. adults partially or fully vaccinated Cruz no longer wearing mask in Capitol MORE were singled out for having official campaign apps that may leave data exposed.

Symantec’s research did not find problems with the campaign apps for GOP front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE or the apps run by campaigns for the two Democratic candidates, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro Chelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' MORE and Bernie SandersBernie SandersSirota: Biden has not fulfilled campaign promise of combating union-busting tactics Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents Progressives put Democrats on defense MORE.

The biggest problem lies with the expanding number of unaffiliated presidential primary apps.

“Out of more than 1,200 presidential-primary-related Android apps we looked at, more than 50 percent exposed sensitive data,” Symantec said in blog post.

Among the most popular primary election apps — those with over 1 million downloads — nearly 25 percent failed to protect personal information, the post said.

The exposed information can include names, email addresses, phone numbers, GPS coordinates, the phone’s model and a list of the apps installed on the device.

Trump has a lot to do with the explosion of these types of apps. Three-quarters of them are categorized under his name. Sanders is second, with 13 percent.

Among the official campaign apps with issues, Symantec said Kasich’s app was potentially letting hackers access user location details and that Cruz’s app had a low risk of revealing details about the device it is installed on.