Who’s Stalking Mobile App Users?: Finding and controlling the third-party code (3PC) app publishers don’t know about

Who's stalking mobile app users?

This was an original report by The Media Trust.

Whose eyes are watching mobile app users? Today’s device-toting consumers spend 90% of their time online on mobile apps. Yet they have little to no notion they’re under the watchful eyes of a broad range of companies—many they’ve never even heard of—that form these apps’ digital supply chain. Unfortunately, the app publishers are too often only slightly more aware of the companies that stalk their users. 

This report takes a unique look at the largely unknown, uncontrolled third-party code (3PC) that enables the functionality of 10 of today’s most popular mobile apps on the Apple store. It also explores this code’s impact on users and mobile app publishers, with an eye to dispelling the misguided notion that since “cookies do not work on mobile” little data is being harvested. The aim of this research is to provide top management teams and boards with information they can use to avoid the costly fines and brand damage that can result from the misuse or theft of user data.