Seminar: Your app is tracking you: zero-permission user tracking

11 Dec 2020 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Presenter/Speaker: Dr Quanqe Ye, Computer Science, Waikato University

Mobile apps collect information from users' mobile phones. They use such information to build profiles of their users, analyze their behavior and preferences so as to serve targeted advertisements and derive greater profit, regardless whether the user is willing or not.

Android OS adopts a permission model for the information that an app can obtain. Explicit permission from the user must be obtained before the app can obtain that information. However, we discovered a covert channel where an app can obtain users’ location information without users’ permission or even notice. Our findings show that there are flaws in the Android’s permission model that should be revised or be replaced to better protect users’ privacy.

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