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Exposing hidden surveillance in mobile apps

Sean O'Brien

Think your phone is safe from the creepy gaze of advertisers? Think again. Not only do big tech companies have a grip on your mobile device, but there's a clandestine industry of surveillance inside the world's most popular apps. Researchers at Yale Privacy Lab and Exodus Privacy are collaborating with F-Droid to expose this kind of tracking in Android apps. This session will give an overview of Yale Privacy Lab's approach, and introduce you to the Exodus privacy auditing platform, a free software scanner that analyzes Android apps and reports a list of detected trackers and app permissions. We will talk about static analysis of app packages, network analysis, impostor apps, and our work on related privacy issues such as tracking through ultrasonic beacons.


4 years, 8 months ago

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LibrePlanet 2018 video · LibrePlanet 2018 · LibrePlanet · lp2018 · video

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LibrePlanet 2018 Videos and Slides (libreplanet)


CC BY-SA 4.0


This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.