Election 2012

Presidential Mobile Apps Too Stalker-y

The campaign software wants to know way too much about you


Security researchers have uncovered privacy shortcomings in the mobile applications offered by both the Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney presidential campaigns.

The campaign teams of the incumbent US President and his Republican challenger have each released apps for both iOS and Android, in good time for the November general election.

Experts at GFI Software looked at the Android versions of both apps, discovering both to be surprisingly invasive. Both Obama for America and Mitt's VP request permissions, access to services and data and capabilities beyond their core mandate. For example, each of the apps features the ability to cross-post on users' behalf and report back to base. One app even has a tool to encourage users to go canvassing on behalf of the candidate, which in GFI's test directed Obama supporters to what was described as an unsafe part of a US town – just north of downtown Clearwater, Florida.