DON’T LET ADS IN APPS FOOL YOU

GET YOUR PRIVACY BACK

What’s an AdNetwork?

An AdNetwork is an advertising content provider that allows mobile app developers to monetize their apps. Thanks to such AdNetworks (normally importing their SDK to the application), any developer may reserve “a part of their app” to show that advertising issued by the AdNetwork. This is how such advertising is monetized in terms of clicks, installations, printouts, seconds of played videos, etc. The developer will get paid depending on the activity and popularity of their application, and the SDK will cover the management tasks and charge a commission.

FAQ

Why is it important to manage the AdNetworks of an application?


There are dozens of AdNetworks but not all of them are equally honest. Even among the honest ones some may be aggressively configured. What do we mean by “honest”? Easy: Respecting users’ privacy. All the AdNetworks send information on users’ activity, so they may perform their functions. However, the line demarcating such activity report and the tracking or invasion of users’ privacy is very thin. And this depends on the AdNetwork itself, but also on how the developer configured it. For instance, a developer may include an AdNetwork in their application. This AdNetwork might collect more information than it should in terms of respect for privacy, or even the application might include permissions that the developer (and the app itself) don’t actually need for working. But it is also possible that the developer configures the SDK to include ads too often, or to invade users’ privacy.

Why is it important to manage the AdNetworks of an application?


Antivirus engines usually detect some applications as malicious just by including a given SDK, this is the case of AirPush.

What can users do to stay protected?


It’s not easy to know what AdNetworks are used by an app and when still less before installing it. Knowing its potential behavior is not simple either (if it will display a lot of ads, collect too much information…) before it is too late. MAD answers all these questions by dissecting information from the app and providing information to the users, so that they may finally decide if they wish to download it or not. How can they decide it? A ranking on all the AdNetworks is provided, assessing their behavior on two levels:

  • Analysis of those Apps including each AdNetwork: For every app including a given AdNetwork an analysis is performed on all the relevant aspects allowing to measure the “quality”, and even the danger, of such applications (number of detections per antivirus, known vulnerabilities, number of permissions, download average rating, average number of days that apps with the same AdNetwork stay on the market…). By using this data, macrodata for all those apps making up an AdNetwork are triggered. In real time, it allows to evaluate how developers commonly use it, users’ reviews, Google Play, antiviruses… An aggregated overall view based on dozens of apps sharing the same AdNetwork.
  • Analysis on App Intrusiveness. This involves how the AdNetwork has been individually configured in a given app, or if user’s privacy is at risk by installing the app.

How can I use MAD?

Chrome & Firefox

By directly adding the extension to your browser (+Learn more)

API

Yes, we have an API! (+Learn more)

Android

Coming soon

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