Trackers EVERYWHERE

Just an angry man ranting late at night about trackers being everywhere and being upset about the world:

I’ve recently been looking more into app trackers, specifically scanning all of my apps with Exodus Privacy (check it out, neat project!) and I am honestly just sad and devastated about how many trackers are included in everyday apps…

  • Freemium music apps track your usage and sell the data as a second income stream (which is why I’m proud to say I’ve gone almost completely local)
  • Shopping apps put trackers in your wallet as they throw deal after deal at you in a vicious cycle of "Save 10% by buying 4 rice cookers right now!" s (Which is why I only shop in person with cash) ((and seriously who needs 4 rice cookers???))
  • Fitness apps shower you with “get fit quick” ads that will follow you EVERYWHERE (which is why I make my own workout routines)
  • And the worst culprit of all “free” games generously embed as many trackers as humanly possible in the code meaning you’ll soon be living in miniature Disney Land and are a gold mine for advertising companies. (which is why I don’t have any installed)

Honorary mention to your very friendly dating app, your freakishly accurate weather provider who knows what floor you live on, and your unusually large flashlight app that probably knows a little too much and needs internet access for a new “glow in the dark” feature.

Don’t even get me started on browser trackers, these have a whole other angry topic waiting to be written.


-Let’s play a little “guess the trackers” game:

How many trackers do you think the average mobile app contains?
  • 1-3
  • 3-5
  • 5-7
  • 7-12
  • 12-15
  • 15-19
  • 19-25
  • 30+

0 voters

Answer

12-15
According to this lovely statistics article the average mobile app contains 15 trackers 12 of which were 3rd party trackers.


Almost all apps you see contain some good amount of your daily dose of trackers which is something that’s honestly making me sick.

So logically I have come here to rant and share my frustration with people that might actually listen.
Thanks for letting me write this down, I do feel a bit better now.
Although I have some angry emails to write so; happy reading!

1 Like

Yeah, I get your frustration. I’ve seen my relatives Notification slider, and it’s absolutely littered with ads. It got to a point where they just don’t bother looking at that Notification menu, anymore. I tried helping them get better digital hygiene, but they fall back on old habits.

Now in some developers defense, not all trackers are bad. Now here me out… They can be very helpful for troubleshooting, and developing the app. Take Bitwarden as an example. It’s respected in the privacy and FOSS communities, yet the app collects data. As a general rule, I’m fine with this. It just annoys me that so many apps cross the line, and harvest data that’s should not be needed. Eg: Why does a coffee shop app need my precise location, and camera? Why is it using a Profiling tracker? In fact why do I even need your app, to buy a cup of coffee? It’s not needed.

Oh, I should add. When downloading an app on Android, get it from the Aurora Store. It will tell you what trackers are bundled in with the app. Even if you’re not rooted, and on Calyx/Graphine, the Aurora Store will still work fine. A better (for privacy) option than the Play Store.

It’s easy. Don’t use apps unless they provide real value in return for your high jacked information. I don’t include entertainment in this category. Instead, use the browser versions of these apps, and use Brave Browser, which blocks trackers.