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Software Android Google Privacy Security

Three Quarters of Android Apps Track Users With Third Party Tools, Says Study (theguardian.com) 46

A study by French research organization Exodus Privacy and Yale University's Privacy Lab analyzed the mobile apps for the signatures of 25 known trackers and found that more than three in four Android apps contain at least one third-party "tracker." The Guardian reports: Among the apps found to be using some sort of tracking plugin were some of the most popular apps on the Google Play Store, including Tinder, Spotify, Uber and OKCupid. All four apps use a service owned by Google, called Crashlytics, that primarily tracks app crash reports, but can also provide the ability to "get insight into your users, what they're doing, and inject live social content to delight them." Other less widely-used trackers can go much further. One cited by Yale is FidZup, a French tracking provider with technology that can "detect the presence of mobile phones and therefore their owners" using ultrasonic tones. FidZup says it no-longer uses that technology, however, since tracking users through simple wifi networks works just as well.
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Three Quarters of Android Apps Track Users With Third Party Tools, Says Study

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  • Tinder, Spotify, Uber and OKCupid, all applications that provide location-aware content may track your location!

  • Go to the apps in Settings and deny all that shit.

    yvw

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Google will have none of your shenanigans. It owns you and will track you, even if you keep your phone OFF, because you will have to turn it on eventually. And yes, Google is tied to Russians. Trump has perverted what is acceptable, and there you are. Roy Moore is your daddy!

    • This isn't tracking your GPS location, camera or anything like that.
      It's an app tracking specifically how you use that single app. Short of never enabling your network there's nothing you can do about that.
      Though in it's basic form it's just harmless developers wanting to know what features are popular, bug tracking etc.

      But yeah, the more over the top ones, such as the apparent ability to detect other mobile phones with sound, presumably is linked up to your microphones permissions.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      It pisses me off that they want Internet, locations, etc. Argh!

  • I have a flashlight app from a security company that promises it is safe. I have my bank's app, which I'm sure is safe. I have 3 apps from online job sites, which I trust to be safe. And, finally, I have 2 network/wifi analyzer apps, which I trust to be safe.

    As for apps that seem like they would want to spy on my as much as possible, I don't have any installed. Ones like Tindr, Uber, and OKCupid. So I don't really worry about apps tracking me.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I count seven apps that are spying on you. Welcome to 21st century, citizen.

      • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

        Only seven? You optimist. You haven't counted any of the built-in can't-be-disabled crapware that comes bundled with the phone.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      What network wifi/analyzers are you using? The ones I've tried have been pretty much garbage, and the free versions are stuffed to the brim with ads and while the ads go away if you pay, I'm not sure I'd trust that any other tracking did.

      "I have my bank's app, which I'm sure is safe."

      I'm absolutely sure its not malware. I'm a lot less sure that they aren't tracking us more than they need to be, especially as the app from my bank is an ad vector for several of the banks services, so they are likely using tracking and analytics and telemetry to target and

  • by nasch ( 598556 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @11:02PM (#55641437)

    This isn't necessarily nefarious. My company uses Google Analytics to help understand how the app is being used. We don't track anybody with it (I don't think we even could if we wanted to), we just see things like what versions of OSes are in use, which features are being used and which aren't, etc.

    But then maybe some of the other tracking systems let you do more spy-ish stuff.

    • by wings ( 27310 )

      I suspect many who initiate data collection plan to use it similarly to what you're doing and they probably don't have nefarious intentions either. This becomes a problem though when that data is stored for any significant amount of time. Stored data becomes succeptible to changes in ownership, changes in management, sale, theft, law enforcement requests, etc. and then used or mined for purposes well outside the scope of what was originally intended. Those who can gain access to data from multiple diffe

  • by Trax3001BBS ( 2368736 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2017 @12:53AM (#55641775) Homepage Journal

    I assume all Google Store applications track and use the camera, after running an Application I'll go into settings > apps and force stop the application. The Front camera has electrical tape over it, fingernail polish keeps coming off.

    A game I'll switch to airplane mode as well.

    I'm also inputting the info from https://exodus-privacy.eu.org/ [eu.org] into my router.

    It's the best I can do...

    • Interesting site. I hope they aren't also tracking. Here's the list of applications they have reports for: https://reports.exodus-privacy... [eu.org]
    • I'm also inputting the info from https://exodus-privacy.eu.org/ [eu.org] into my router.

      I had to type it out for myself, so posted for others use. https://slashdot.org/journal/2... [slashdot.org]

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      For a few versions of Android now, the first time an app tries to use the camera the user is prompted to give permission. On older versions camera access is listed in the permissions granted on installation, before you install.

      For enhanced privacy and ad-blocking, I recommend DNS66.

      Force stopping an application is insufficient. Android uses a system that allows apps to hook in to various events, such as the arrival of a new message, a given time or even a change of location. Android will re-start the app to

    • I assume all Google Store applications track and use the camera, after running an Application I'll go into settings > apps and force stop the application. The Front camera has electrical tape over it, fingernail polish keeps coming off.

      A game I'll switch to airplane mode as well.

      I'm also inputting the info from https://exodus-privacy.eu.org/ [eu.org] into my router.

      It's the best I can do...

      This is a great help! Thank you. https://freelancerfaithkarin.w... [wixsite.com]

  • Application developers are refining the existing mobile application development processes to increase their functionality and usability. Reports suggest that the Android application store is filled with nearly 2.8 million applications, whereas the Apple App Store has 2.2 million applications. http://appaspect.blogspot.in/2... [blogspot.in]
  • Seriously. After seeing all sorts of app accessing my contact, my phone, my location, I decided to switch back to iPhone.

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