The speed with which the Cruz Campaign was able to translate an offhand set of remarks on CNN about Ben Carson returning to Florida after the Iowa caucuses into a strategy for all his precinct captains to poach Carson’s votes was pretty impressive. It was actually a technological accomplishment, as voicemails were almost instantaneously sent out all across the state to each caucus with instructions to inform voters that Carson was dropping out and support for him would be wasted.
Likewise, his Mobile App is impressively sophisticated. It’s a data mining weapon.
Protecting the privacy of law-abiding citizens from the government is a pillar of Ted Cruz’s Republican presidential candidacy, but his campaign is testing the limits of siphoning personal data from supporters.
His “Cruz Crew” mobile app is designed to gather detailed information from its users’ phones — tracking their physical movements and mining the names and contact information for friends who might want nothing to do with his campaign.
That information and more is then fed into a vast database containing details about nearly every adult in the United States to build psychological profiles that target individual voters with uncanny accuracy.
Cruz’s sophisticated analytics operation was heralded as key to his victory in Iowa earlier this month — the first proof, his campaign said, that the system has the potential to power him to the nomination.
When people warn about Cruz’s intelligence, it’s really a kind of ruthless cunning that they’re talking about. Sure, it comes with astronomically large levels of hypocrisy, but no one should doubt his will to win. He has thought this through and he’s willing to use any tactic if he thinks it will give him an edge. He’s already engaged in the dirtiest of dirty tricks. He’s sent misleading mailers that accuse the recipients of committing a “voting violation” if they don’t caucus. He’s falsely spread rumors about his opponents, including that they’re dropping out of the race. And he’s invading the privacy of his supporters’ phones to psychological profile them and their contacts.
Think of something devious. You might just be able to predict his next outrage.