Thesis Topic Details

Topic ID:
Third party tracking in mobile environment
Salil Kanhere
Research Area:
Security, Privacy, Mobile Computing
Associated Staff
Sanjay Jha
Topic Details
R & D
Group Suitable:
COMP3331, Security Engineering, Android programming
ncreased adoption of mobile communications technologies (e.g.,
smartphones), along with the growing popularity of mobile applications and
online social network (OSN) services (e.g., mobile Facebook, mobile
YouTube), have created new opportunities for online advertising. Mobile
adverstising is becoming more sophisticated, with developments such as
ad-exchanges, advertising agencies, which specialize in online markets,
and new analytic tools. Analytics companies such as Flurry Analytics
provide libraries to mobile application developers to track and profile
variery of users. However, third party tracking capabilities and
mechanisms on smartphones are not well understood, if not unknown. As
opposed to web based tracking, third party analytics platforms have more
possibilities and possess exteremely invasive techniques to inspect and
profile mobile users activities.
The goal of this project is to study and measure the third party tracking
capabilities, and understand how mobile users profiles are being built and
sold to adverstising companies such as Google AdMob.

The findings of this project will provide new insights into privacy risks
in online mobile systems and allows highlighting privacy risks mobile
users undertake. In the light of the identified privacy vulnerabilities,
we will propose countermeasure to prevent information leakage towards
mobile third party trackers.
he student will work closely with researchers in the Trusted Networks
project within the NICTA Networks Research Group. The project will be
primarily based at the NICTA ATP laboratory, where the work environment is
a group comprised of junior and senior research staff, and PhD students.
IT support and resources will be provided by NICTA.

Reference Material Links
[1] Seungyeop Han, Jaeyeon Jung, David Wetherall ³A study of Third-party
tracking by mobile Apps in the Wild², University of Washington Technical
Report UW-CSE-12-03-01, 2012.
[2] Franziska Roesner, Tadayoshi Kohno, and David Wetherall, "Detecting
and Defending Against Third-Party Tracking on the Web² NSDI 2012.
Past Student Reports
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