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In-app ads growing even more obnoxious

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:29PM EST

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Lookout Mobile Security has found that advertisements deployed within mobile applications are increasingly becoming more invasive and are accessing “personal information (including email, phone number and name) without clearly notifying the user.” To make matters worse, Lookout says that many of these ads “use aggressive mobile ad delivery techniques that can confuse users, like changing bookmark settings or delivering ads outside the context of an individual app.” 

So far, Lookout says that such practices are fairly limited and account for just 5% of apps that use in-app ads, although the firm notes that this relatively small percentage still accounts for around 80 million app downloads.

The company notes that the worst offenders in employing aggressive ad tactics are personalization apps such as mobile wallpaper apps, as 17% of those apps used ad networks that violate user privacy. Other app types that are more likely to employ aggressive ad networks include entertainment apps (8%) and games (7%).


Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.