This company was just exposed for secretly harvesting user data through VPN and ad-blocking apps
Is anybody NOT harvesting data at this point?
I mean, if you install a VPN app or one saying it’s for ad blocking, you’d be forgiven if you assumed your data is now safer. If you installed one of the 20 or so apps owned by Sensor Tower, your data was siphoned off, seemingly to power Sensor Tower’s app intelligence platform. The apps also don’t mention anything about Sensor Tower, obfuscating where your data is going.
BuzzFeed did talk to one of Sensor Tower’s management team, who tried to spin the situation, saying, “The vast majority of these apps listed are now defunct (inactive) and a few are in the process of sunsetting.” The thing is, most of the apps aren’t available because they were removed from the app stores for policy violations. Not quite the picture Sensor Tower is trying to paint.
VPN and ad-blocking apps bypass store policies by making the user download a root certificate from an external website, and not through the app
Sensor Tower’s head of mobile insight also said that their apps “do not track, request, or store any sensitive user data such as passwords, usernames, etc., from users or other apps on a user’s device, including web browsers,” but what he’s not saying here is that everything else on your device is being tracked.
Thanks for uncovering this BuzzFeed News, and if you have any of the following apps on your device – uninstall them immediately: Free and Unlimited VPN, Luna VPN, Mobile Data, and Adblock Focus.
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