We did a quick scan of all of the major candidates’ websites to see what sorts of data collection and tracking is going on.
Most of the candidates’ sites were pretty sane compared to other things we’ve seen. But if the primaries were decided based on the number of tags and data collectors, the winners would differ from the candidates voters chose.
Ben Carson and Ted Cruz ended up on top. Carson’s site has 51 tags from 26 different companies, driven in large part by a MediaMath mathtag that performed programmatic cookie syncing with 15-25 third parties (depending on the pageview). He also had some sophisticated marketing tech and lead tracking sprinkled elsewhere. Cruz’s sites was less vendor intensive, but still had some lightweight ad-tech and several third-party scripts running as first-parties.
The most business-focused candidate, Donald Trump, had among the sparest websites from a data collection perspective. Perhaps, as Trump says on the stump, he doesn’t need any external help (although another billionaire pol, Michael Bloomberg, was renowned for the technical sophistication of his digital operations).
Incidentally, no endorsement is meant by any of this. Nor did we see anything on these scans out of the ordinary. But we’ll keep looking periodically, and if you see anything odd, drop us a line.
After the jump, you can see actual scans of each website, which includes both the candidate’s homepage as well as the donation page (or where it exists, a customized search landing page).