A redesigned version of Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign website debuted on Tuesday morning, and with it came a new and problematic set of Terms & Conditions. According to CBS News, part of the new terms stated that the website “may… collect other information based on your location and your Device’s proximity to ‘beacons’ and other similar proximity systems.” That means the people who visited the website upon launch unknowingly agreed to have their info collected. Thankfully, its developer killed that part of the T&C after CBS News questioned its purpose.
Beacons are any Bluetooth-enabled devices like phones, and collecting your info based on how close you are to one is a tactic used by advertisers that send people targeted messages. The President’s website even said that if you want to opt out, you’ll have to switch your Bluetooth off when you visit. The term could’ve been put in place so the Trump team could send you messages when he starts campaigning for the 2020 elections, though it could have another purpose altogether.
Unfortunately, the website developer wouldn’t answer CBS News’ questions, but it’s a problematic term to agree to whatever the reason is. While a beacon only shows your general location, nefarious players could take advantage of the technology to track individuals. The publication says the website already pulled the language that pertains to beacons and location data. We just can’t confirm it because the Terms & Conditions link is currently deactivated. The good news is that the section was only up for half a day — hopefully, the website didn’t collect location data earlier than that.