Online & Mobile tracking

Online & Mobile tracking
Mobile trackers are a unique string of numbers that act as a “license plate”: they allow providers like Google and Apple and third parties to identify a user across applications and connect their online and mobile behavior (“cross device tracking”), even if the name or identity of the users is not (yet) known. Mobile trackers are often times pre-installed on our phone, they cannot be deleted, nor is there a way of stopping tracking going forward. They track user’s behavior, collect data in order to pass it on to countless third parties in the advertising ecosystem. This tracking data is then connected to distinct online identities, such as social media accounts, email addresses or phone numbers. This ultimately allows various advertisers to know our actions and take advantage of our consumption preferences. 

In addition to the applicable rules under GDPR, tracking is strictly regulated by the Article 5(3) of the ePrivacy Directive: the storing of information or the gaining of access to information already stored in the user ́s terminal equipment is only allowed with the user’s previous consent. In other words, if a company does not collect valid “opt-in” consent before generating the tracking ID, it is acting illegally. 

With this project, noyb

  • aims to remove hidden tracking identifiers from the mobile environment,
  • has taken action against a gay dating app that forwarded user information for advertising purposes,
  • has filed several complaints against both market leaders Apple and Google under the e-Privacy directive which doesn’t trigger cross-border cooperation between different European Data Protection Authorities and
  • is working on various projects in the mobile and online tracking sphere.

Case Controller DPA Status Duration
C026 Google LLC, Google Ireland Limited DSB (Austria) Pending (4 years and more) Filed:
(4 years 2 months ago)
C033 Apple Ireland AEPD (Spain) Lost Filed:
(2 years 4 months)
C041 Google Ireland Limited CNIL (France) Lost Filed:
(1 year 9 months)
C069 MyFitnessPal CNIL (France) Pending (6 - 12 months) Filed:
(10 months 1 week ago)
C071 Digital Classifieds France, Groupe SeLoger CNIL (France) Pending (6 - 12 months) Filed:
(10 months 1 week ago)
(10 months 1 week ago)
C079-02 Microsoft Corporation DSB (Austria) Pending (0 - 6 months) Filed:
(1 month 2 weeks ago)