Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Now Apps Can Track You Even After You Uninstall Them

Google Play peer-to-peer app and game sharing is live starting with SHAREit — Files Go and Xender to follow Google Play Peer-to-Peer Offline App Sharing Goes Live With SHAREit; Support for Files Go, Xender Coming Soon | Technology News
Katie Ramirez | 23 October, 2018, 15:39

Both Android and iOS include controls to block app permissions, and you can always remove an app if you think it's being too nosey.

3 days ago, the company announced, through its developer blog, the beginning of a test program that sees Google Play verifying the authenticity of apps and games shared by users with other users i.e. peer-to-peer app and game sharing.

Adjust, AppsFlyer, MoEngage, Localytics, and CleverTap are among the companies that offer uninstall trackers, usually as part of a broader set of developer tools. Big companies like T-Mobile and Spotify use these services to figure out when people uninstall their apps, but they're not alone.

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If it seems as though the app you deleted last week is suddenly popping up everywhere, it may not be mere coincidence. This technique uses a perfectly legitimate feature of mobile operating systems: push notifications.

As reported by The Verge, Android users have complained about the issue since May, with the app mysteriously downloading gigabytes of mobile data in the background. Not ideal, but if the bug can potentially cost you hundreds of dollars, better be safe and wait until a fix has been released, before turning background data back on. However, the phone is silent if the app is no longer installed.

No action is needed by developers or your users. Then, using the unique advertising IDs associated with each phone, they can target those users for messages urging them to reinstall. "It's just generally sketchy to track people around the internet after they've opted out of using your product", he says, adding that he expects Apple and Google to crack down on the practice soon. Developers aren't allowed to use push notifications to send ads or generate an advertising database, but it's unclear if Google or Apple could feasibly to enforce that.

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