There are about 2.6 billion smartphone users across the world and is expected to cross 6 Billion mark by 2020. However, in apps advertisements inside apps can put users data at risk, according to new study. A new study has found that in app advertisement can disclose user’s information between ad networks and mobile app developers.

Mobile Ads Can Put Users Personal Data at Risk, Says Study

The study was carried by researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology in United States, this research is based on more than 200 users who used custom apps in Android Devices.

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Researchers analysed the authenticity of customized ads that were presented in order test the subjects by following their personal interest and demographic profiles. They also analysed that to how extent mobile app maker could expose the data about users as customized ads were presented to them.

Researchers discovered that 73 percent of ad impressions for 92 percent of users are properly oriented with their respective demographic profiles.

Researchers also discovered that app developers could determine the user’s gender, with exactness of 75 percent, 66 percent exactness of their parental status and 54 percent exactness of users age. Moreover, they can also guess the users income, martial status or political links with more exactness.

Also, some personal data is considered so sensitive, such that Google positively mentions that those factors are not used for “Personalisation”. Additionally, study has discovered that mobile app developers can determine this information due to data leakage between Ad Networks and App Developers.

Wei Meng from Georgia Institute of Technology said that “Free smart phone apps are not really free. Apps – especially malicious apps – can be used to collect potentially sensitive information about someone simply by hosting ads in the app and observing what is received by a user. Mobile, personalised in-app ads absolutely present a new privacy threat,”.

Researchers further said that App developers prefer to accept “In App Ads” in their app. AD networks pay money to the app developers to show their ads and track users activity like gathering apps that the user has installed, geographical locations and the mobile model etc.

Also “In App Ads” showcased unencrypted as section of the Apps Graphical User Interface, which means app developers can acquire ad content targeted at specific location displayed in their app and then makes a profile of their app users.

It seems that In App Ads are actually threat to the users privacy. If you loved this article, feel free to share it !


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