Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ted Cruz's New App Wants All Your Contacts

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 4:01 PM

click to enlarge Srcreenshots of Ted Cruz's new app. - GIZOMODO
  • Gizomodo
  • Srcreenshots of Ted Cruz's new app.

Want to make fun of presidential hopeful Ted Cruz? There's an app for that.

And we can thank the freshman Senator from Texas for creating it.

The "Cruz Crew" app for Apple and Android allows people to do all their favorite time-wasting social media activities, like inviting friends, sharing messages to to Facebook and Twitter, and gaining "Action Points" for sending invites and other stuff. You can even unlock badges (forget about the real problems in this country). 

Politics has never been so fun! It's just like Twitter and Facebook!

But like all social media, Cruz wants your data.

For 250 "Action Points," all you have to do is turn over your entire contact list to the Cruz campaign. And if you decline to turn over your grandmother, cousin, boss, ex-girlfriend or your random booty call's contact info, apparently, they'll ask you one more time, according to Gizmodo.

Cruz's director of analytics and research, Chris Wilson, told NPR the campaign doesn't keep anything people share — though many of these folks would probably turn their firstborn over to Cruz — it does allow the campaign to identify a person's contact list.

The campaign is searching for information — names, address, phone numbers — that match up with possible Cruz voters. "We have scored the entire national voter file, in terms of their likelihood to support Ted Cruz," Wilson says. "So if we identify that you have 10 friends in Iowa who are potential Cruz supporters, then we'll ask you to reach out to those people."

However, you have to admit, the Cruz campaign did just open the door to a whole new kind of politicking, which is kind of a sad reflection of American political engagement.

Yeah, sure, electing the country's next president is important, but it's so boring unless there's a way to unlock badges and get points.

Thanks for leading the way, Ted. 

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