The ad-supported model has been around since the emergence of Internet and dramatically contributed to the expansion of the Web as we know it. Sources all over the world have signed up for advertising programs that pay for traffic and allow content to be distributed for free to the user.
But mobile adware is totally different: adware tightly integrates with the device – it does not run inside the browser, isolated from other applications. On mobiles, advertising frameworks can learn your communications habits, friends, friends’ contacts, location and – more frequently – all of the above at the same time. This turns them into the modern equivalent of spyware built into the device you’re using the most throughout the day.
Through Clueful, our mission is to shed some light into the application ecosystem as well as to clearly pinpoint the privacy threats the user exposes to when installing something as simple as an application.