Uninstalling applications is not going to stop them from spying on you


Surely on occasion you have found an advertisement on your mobile that has made you think for a few seconds. Is it not too much of a coincidence that an advertisement appears when you’ve been watching similar content ? Digital advertising works like that, and it’s such a complex network that it reaches really worrisome levels like the one we’re going to tell you about.

The last case of suspicious advertising comes with the uninstalled applications, since a series of tools called uninstall trackers are allowing developers to know which users are uninstalling their applications, in order to launch advertising related to the sole purpose of recovering them again.

A practice that violates the policies of Apple and Google

Uninstalling applications is not going to stop them from spying on you

Companies like Adjust, AppFlyer, MoEngage, Localytics and CleverTap are behind these practices, since they make available to their clients (developers) uninstall trackers within a complete suite of tools. According to have been able to declare some responsible of these companies to Bloomberg, the decision of how to use these tools depends on the own developers, and assure that if they violate the confidence of their users “they will not be well”.

The interesting thing is that among the list of customers of these companies are some like

How do uninstall trackers work?

Uninstalling applications is not going to stop them from spying on you

In general, this tool takes advantage of something as simple as push notifications . These notifications are used to alert the user in the background about or new entries in social networks. This call is a kind of method to ping the other side of the user, an action that when not receiving a response, can be interpreted as the user no longer has it installed on their system. And that’s where the next phase comes into play.

With this information, developers have the possibility to modify the advertising ID to direct it to that phone that uninstalled the application, so that the user would be persecuted by the publicity even having the application uninstalled.

A very valuable tool that is not used correctly

That a developer wants to know how many users have uninstalled his application is totally lawful, but another issue is to use that application for not too many ethical purposes such as knowing who exactly made the action and then “recriminating him for it”. It seems that this practice is more common than many might think, so we’ll see how long it takes for Apple and Google to curb these methods.

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