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Staggering Variety of Clandestine Trackers Found in Popular Android Apps

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posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 09:14 AM
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Just found this here and thought I would share.

theintercept.com...


RESEARCHERS AT YALE Privacy Lab and French nonprofit Exodus Privacy have documented the proliferation of tracking software on smartphones, finding that weather, flashlight, rideshare, and dating apps, among others, are infested with dozens of different types of trackers collecting vast amounts of information to better target advertising.

Exodus security researchers identified 44 trackers in more than 300 apps for Google’s Android smartphone operating system. The apps, collectively, have been downloaded billions of times. Yale Privacy Lab, within the university’s law school, is working to replicate the Exodus findings and has already released reports on 25 of the trackers.



exodus-privacy.eu.org...


Among the Android apps identified by the researchers were, with six or seven trackers each, dating apps Tinder and OkCupid, the Weather Channel app, and Superbright LED Flashlight; the app for digital music service Spotify, which embedded four trackers, including two from Google; ridesharing service Uber, with three trackers; and Skype, Lyft, Accuweather, and Microsoft Outlook


My favourite part



Tinder’s heavy use of trackers means the company has been able to make use of behavior analytics, and also to accept payment from shaving supply company Gillette for highly targeted research: Do college-aged male Tinder users with neatly-groomed facial hair receive more right swipes than those with untidy facial hair?


And anyone that tries to say it's all anonymous marketing data.



Capabilities of the trackers uncovered by Exodus include targeting users based on third-party data, identifying offline movement through machine learning, tracking behavior across devices, uniquely identifying and correlating users, and targeting users who abandon shopping carts. Most trackers work by deriving an identification code from your mobile device or web browser and sharing it with third parties to more specifically profile you. App makers can even tie data collected from trackers with their own profiles of individuals, including names and account details. Some tracking companies say they anonymize data, and have strict rules against sharing publicly identifiable information, but the sheer wealth of data collected can make it possible to identify users even in the face of such safeguards.

Meet the Trackers

Google has a vested interest in allowing liberal use of trackers in apps distributed through Google Play: One of the most ubiquitous in-app trackers is made by Google’s DoubleClick ad platform, which targets users by location and across devices and channels, segments users based on online behavior, connects to personally identifiable information, and offers data sharing and integration with various advertising systems. DoubleClick’s tracker is found in many popular apps, including Tinder and OkCupid, Lyft and Uber, Spotify, the Weather Channel and Accuweather, and the popular flashlight apps Superbright LED flashlight and LED light.



I recommend reading the full article it goes into a lot more detail about different tracking methods being used and shows that even if you're careful about what you install and the permissions you allow you can still be tracked, monitored and personally identified by the apps you have installed. This data is then correlated with physical real world data about you to build profiles about you that are then bought and sold by companies for profit.




posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 09:17 AM
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a reply to: dug88

this is the new norm - just like the FaceBook Messenger App being filled with all sorts of privacy-violating functions, people honestly don't even care. They would rather use those apps for convenience sake and assume nothing bad will ever come of it.

Similar to how the NSA can illegally spy on everyone, but most of the sheople will say "I have nothing to hide so I don't care". It's a dangerous apathy... people need to wake the f*** up and recognize the implications and long-term consequences



posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 09:18 AM
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I guess that old Trilaterilist and Council On Foreign Relations goob Zbigniew knew what he was talking about, eh?



“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities. ”


― Zbigniew Brzeziński, Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era

edit on 24-11-2017 by The GUT because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 09:19 AM
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a reply to: dug88

Because in the eyes of the suits, human beings are no longer human beings, they are simply exploitation objects with a value attached



posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 09:30 AM
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a reply to: dug88

I think this is a very dangerous time for the liberty, privacy and freedom of the people. The companies that are performing these acts of spying, these invasions of our privacy know everything about us, and yet, as this article, and this timely thread indicate, we know far too little about them.

I think its also worth pointing out that we have easily reached a stage now, where in the "developed world" at least, one puts oneself at a major disadvantage socially and economically, by refusing to engage with the datanet, by refusing to carry a mobile device. Their multiple functions put an enormous amount of power at the fingertips of the user, and to be without that power in this day and age, can be a serious draw back to any business one might want to conduct, and even make operating relationships unworkable, especially at distance. Given that we know that the same techniques as are applied to our mobile phones, are applied to our desktop computers as well, and given that we also know that mass surveillance at street level is likely to be, or already has been co-opted by these same forces, it is highly likely that phone or not, ones actions can be tracked, ones habits analysed and passed on to any number of bodies, entities, both governmental and private.

We seem smeared flat, between a rock and a hard place, being ground together as if by the fist of God himself, and I see no practical solutions to the problem as it stands, that do not (and I am taking a risk here, and know that I am) involve actually taking action against the entities which preside over these systems, including our own governments.



posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: dug88

Too much money in metadata. We need laws to protect consumer's privacy! Europe has strict laws. Much better than US.



posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

Your avatar drinks too much!



posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 09:49 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

Heh... as I have pointed out repeatedly since getting this avatar, its been nursing that same drink since Valentines Day, some years ago now. If anything, the problem it has with drinking, is that it does so very slowly! Hehe!




posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 10:00 AM
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a reply to: dug88

Some stores offing their apps to have groceries ready for you... Or McDonalds having your orders ready... and they toute the super "convenience"of these... when their whole purpose is to track your life and preferences to flood you with spam.

First thing I got rid of was a flashlight app once I found out they are all just trackers with special 'permissions" we grant them having nothing to do with lighting my way or any "convenience".

It's intense and scary.... "Credit Karma!? It's FREE!!!!! "



posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 10:32 AM
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The local police love the stuff. The average robbery is solved within 2 hours and a B&E is within 3 hours. Between phones and OnStar stupid criminals don't stand a chance.




posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 03:22 PM
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Who reads five pages of terms and conditions fontstyle type 2 nowadays ..


They should have known that those using a android system becomes the tracked android himself..
edit on 0b01America/ChicagoFri, 24 Nov 2017 15:29:01 -0600vAmerica/ChicagoFri, 24 Nov 2017 15:29:01 -06001 by 0bserver1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 08:11 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

When/if You get Him another pint, how about mixing in a hair cut? or get most of them cut? Not because I'm a 'square' but I keep thinking it is mixing in w/the ale. Maybe a "man bun"?

hahahaha

Stay Hydrated... (Especially if'n You're going to throw 'em down like that, maybe mix-in a water every other beer)



posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 08:12 PM
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originally posted by: mysterioustranger
a reply to: dug88

Some stores offing their apps to have groceries ready for you... Or McDonalds having your orders ready... and they toute the super "convenience"of these... when their whole purpose is to track your life and preferences to flood you with spam.

First thing I got rid of was a flashlight app once I found out they are all just trackers with special 'permissions" we grant them having nothing to do with lighting my way or any "convenience".

It's intense and scary.... "Credit Karma!? It's FREE!!!!! "


I was really happy when I found out the later version of android on my new phone came with a built in way to use the flashlight. On the downside, it's far more locked down in a lot of ways compared to android 4.2 and my data usage has gone up suspiciously without me really changing my phone habits enough to justify it.



posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 11:15 PM
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a reply to: dug88

Just be careful...and see why it needs the permissions it does...like camera, mic...etc. There was an article I think on WIRED about how all of the Top-10 apps for flashlight install suspicious stuff that stays even after deletion.

We all gotta take care...and pass any info we find out...to other members.



posted on Nov, 24 2017 @ 11:22 PM
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I get popups any time a negative trump story is published.



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