Disclaimer: The App Analyst is not an American website or associated with any political party. This is one of two election campaign apps analysed.

App Analysis: Official Trump 2020 App

The Official Trump 2020 App is an election cycle application for drumming up support and aggregate data on Trump supporters. The application allows users to volunteer for the campaign, register for events, and read the latest talking points coming from the President and his promoted associates.

Problems have been found in the application in the past. Cyber security researchers have poured over the source-code and found exposed app keys, and the severity of it's user tracking has been compared to TikTok. Needless to say the application has been reviewed quite heavily by security researchers.

Phunware, Branch.io, Appsflyer: Tracking Voters

The App does package various trackers such as Phunware, Branch.io, Appsflyer, and additionally uses Firebase to offload user events. This is a large number of trackers and could likely be reduced, however it's not uncommon to see as many or more trackers in many popular applications.

Phunware events tracked during iOS session.

With previous coverage on how the Official Trump 2020 app heavily tracked it's users, it would not be surprising that the developers may have toned down their tracker integration. Phunware has been highlighted in the news as a particularly malicious tracker; while using the app they appear to offload logs about the users events. Readers can click the button below to see events captured by Phunware and determine for themselves.


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                        "type": "IDFA",
                        "encoding": "RAW"
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                      "osv": "13.5.1",
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                      "SSID": {},
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                      "os": "iOS",
                      "pushEnabled": true,
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                      "make": "Apple",
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                      "timezone": "PDT",
                      "connection": "wifi",
                      "model": "iPhone8,1",
                      "carrier": ""
                    },
                    "schemaVersion": "3.0",
                    "action": "SESSION_PAUSE",
                    "app": {
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                    "sessionId": "EC066EA1-C9BF-4AF1-9EE4-3E3822B55F8F",
                    "type": "MAAS_CORE",
                    "timestamp": "2020-09-13T17:45:22.482Z"
                  }, {
                    "device": {
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Gamifying the Election: Points & Rewards

One aspect of the Official Trump 2020 app not receiving much coverage is the extent to which it has gamified the election. Supporters gain points by either donating to the Trump campaign (10 points for every dollar donated) or referring their friends to install the app (100 points for every install). With enough points a user will eventually see their name on the Official Trump 2020 leader board.

The Official Trump 2020 App national leader board.

The leader board currently lists Alexander F. from Illinois as the nations leading scorer with 1,106,000 points. This could have been achieved through having 11,060 of Alexanders friends install the application, a donation of $110,600, or a mix of the two. The idea of having users compete within a leader board and having points be redeemable for rewards instills a sense of arcades and exchanging tickets for toys.

Rewards available and their cost in points.

Conclusions

User trackers are integrated within the Official Trump 2020 application however they have likely been dialed back in response to previous coverage. The gamification of the election cycle has led to a national leader board of trump supporters trading in points for various token rewards. While the application does have it's issues, it's quite basic in it's functionality.

What do you think? Tweet @theappanalyst1 with your thoughts. Thanks for reading!