How Facebook tracks Android users, even those without Facebook accounts


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/28/deletefacebookdelete.html


#2

The data harvested from phones – including, for example, which Bible verses you read using a King James Bible app

O crap, if Pastor finds out I was reading Ecclesiastes, I’m in so much trouble!


#3

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that FB isn’t the only one tracking people like this. The tracking method seems obvious enough that i’d expect Google and other major players to do something like this or very similar to this.


#4

It’s not clear whether the same conduct is present in apps in Apple’s App Store; Apple uses unique Ad IDs that are similar to Google/Android’s and could be exploited in the same way.

Apple is clear about what is and isn’t allowed.. In short, Apps on iOS must use the IDFA (ID for Advertising) for in-app advertising and it can be reset by the user at any time.


#5

I’m tracking people right now.


#6

Thank you for the reminder to go into Settings and reset my Google Ad ID.

(A temporary bandage for the problem, but still…)


#7

There are some android firewalls that don’t require root. noRoot is one of them.
You can stop access from WIFI or cellular data or both.

More disturbing than my flashlight and weather app trying to connect to bookface is the sheer number of amazon cloud instances being accessed from many different apps.


#8

Neither here nor there, but still:
I was having a conversation with a friend about Sloppy Joe’s (yum)
(Not on cell phone, but face to face…really!)
and next few days in my Google news feed
were recipes for
Sloppy Joe’s

Totally wigged me out.


#9

You can’t track me…
I’m wearing a tin foil hat.


#10

#11

Okay, okay,
my windows then!?


#12

Wrap everything in foil! Also… Never a bad time to link some Weird Al


#13

Where is Tyler Durden in front of a data center when you need him?

Starting to think that’s the only thing that will end this bullshit in the digital age.


#14

My mobile is running Sailfish OS, which is another Linux-based mobile OS and actually quite nice. What is particularly nice is that AFAICT its manufacturer doesn’t have the slightest interest in collecting and selling my personal data, and that it doesn’t come with non-uninstallable apps that snoop on me and everything I do and send the data to Facebook.


#15

Unfortunately this won’t work unless you manage to disable most of the data centers in the world. Everything is backed up, destroying one center does exactly nothing.


#16

Nothing a planet-wide EMP can’t fix


#17


#18

Maybe Zukerberg can be Slim Pickens…

A man can dream, a man can dream.

I hate what the digital world has become, for the most part.


#19

I think you mean Snake Plissken


#20

Huh. Didn’t know I could do that. Just done it and on the same screen is the option “Opt out of Ads Personalisation. Instruct apps not to use your advertising ID to build profiles or show you personalised ads.”

I’ve enabled it, although I suspect it’s more of a suggestion than an instruction.