Android App Trackers
In more than three-quarters of all cases, the systems struck as security researchers in Android apps searched for the signatures of the trackers in question. What the services are watching is sometimes very different. However, it is always about gaining data about the users and then targeting them with advertising or other apps.
In the joint investigation by the French organization Exodus Privacy and in smaller, ad-supported apps, the trackers were by no means found again. Even large providers sometimes even paid services to monitor the usage activities of their users – so were the signatures of third-party trackers in the apps of Tinder, Spotify, Uber and OKCupid again.These include Crashlytics, a service from Google that generates crash reports but also gathers more data on user behavior.
But there are also snooping services that go much further. So the security researchers discovered in some apps also the service FidZup again. This uses ultrasound to detect which other smartphones or users are in the user’s environment – and therefore creates profiles about the social connections among users. However, SafeGraph was also discovered, which made speeches by collecting location data.
As a result of their analysis, the security researchers do not necessarily want to make sure that the app developers do not even resort to corresponding data analyzes. More reluctance and, above all, transparency towards the user would be very desirable, it was said. And even Google as a platform provider should have an eye on the extent to which the users are spied when releasing apps in the Play Store.