They know… that you just uninstalled their creepy app

Doris Richards
Октября 23, 2018

Either way, it seems to violate user expectations that apps will cease their tracking once they're off the phone, even if the loophole does just deliver software companies one last piece of information. Their customers include T-Mobile US, Spotify Technology, and Yelp. Experts, however, say these companies offer yet another reason to re-evaluate privacy rights and what companies are allowed to do with user data. Uninstall tracking notes this as a newly lost user, giving the developer a chance to pitch woo at you. "The dialogue is between our customers and their end users", he says. 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.

Bloomberg writes: "If the app doesn't ping the developer back, the app is logged as uninstalled, and the uninstall tracking tools add those changes to the file associated with the given mobile device's unique advertising ID".

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Uninstall tracking exploits a core element of Apple Inc.'s and Google's mobile operating systems: push notifications. Currently, the only useful advice given to users that want to prevent the unusual behavior is to disable background data use for Google News. Apple and Google didn't respond to requests for comment. 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. To participate, users must typically agree to share their data freely, probably forever, not knowing exactly how it may be used down the road.

Google has been working on making peer-to-peer sharing of apps more secure for users for a while now. A recent report from Bloomberg suggests that app developers have found a "legit" way to track you even if you deleted any of their apps.

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