There’s no shortage of free apps across the various smartphone marketplaces, with revenue rolling in via in-app purchases and ads. Fair enough; developers have to make money somehow.
However, a study by Lookout indicates that 5% of the “vast pool” analysed use “aggressive” advertising techniques. Those sonsof…
While 5% might seem like a small number, they account for a whopping 80 million downloads.
The offending apps do all sorts of crazy shi*, such as gathering personal information, changing bookmarks, and pushing ads outwith the context of the app.
By far the worst offenders on Google Play are personalisation apps (wallpapers and that), with 17% featuring aggressive advertising. Games and entertainment weren’t quite so bad on 7% and 8% respectively.
Lookout doesn’t necessarily think developers or advertisers are acting maliciously. In response, it has produced a lengthy document titled “Mobile App Advertising Guidelines”. The aim is to promote healthy advertising that doesn’t irk the end user.
Meanwhile, for Android users, there’s Lookout Ad Network Detector, a free tool that identifies offending apps and helps decide whether or not to expunge them.
via: Lookout blog