Reply to post: It's really quite simple

Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

Jamie Jones Silver badge
Boffin

It's really quite simple

Serve me ads with no tracking, from the origin server.

If you want the ads to be relevant, make them relevant to the web page the advert is being posted on, just like TV advertisers focus on the programme they advertise in. You can even do one better - you can tell when someone clicks on the advert.

You have NO RIGHT to track me and the websites I visit, just because you technically can.

If you really want to see companies taking the piss, you should look at the ad companies that use the android platform.

I've been using android for years now, but only recently started looking into how they operated. I was naive.

Even the so called respectable companies have SDKs that:

- grab your MAC address (to uniquely identify your device when sharing UUID is disabled)

- grab a list of all wifi AP's your device can see (why?)

- grab location. OK, they want to know where you are in the world, but unfortunately "coarse location" accuracy can be much better than a 1km radius. Some even request "fine location" - no doubt they need to know your GPS location because your advertising needs in the front of the house are much more different from in the back of the house.

- phone home even when not in use.

I have evidence of an app by a well known "google approved" developer that use ad ad sdk that tries to keep a connection open to the ad companies server all the time... I mean, all the time. A background process is launched independently of the main app. This process is relaunched when killed, and relaunched when you reboot your device.

Basically, as long as this "safe" app is installed, your device will be connected to this web server. I've not seen what exactly it transfers as yet, other than a randomly(?) generated uuid, as I blocked it when I first saw it.

I know block all dodgy ad sdks. The amount of ads I see have dropped to almost zero, but that wasn't my intent. I usually pay for apps I use, or tolerate ads, but if you are going to do underhand things, don't expect to get away with it.

P.S. I thought running of background services, without an icon in the notification area to let the user know was prohibited by google play stores TOS.

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