This year has seen a huge rush of government entities to obtain a new and sometimes controversial set of data, such as: location data collected using popular smartphone applications, and among these entities are the FBI and the US Army, which has purchased location data from mobile applications. Mobile phones, such as the Muslim Pro app, for the purpose of fighting terrorism, among other reasons.
Now, a new report reveals that the company (Bsightful) – a subsidiary of (Verint) that is one of the largest vendors of surveillance and espionage tools and software in the world and among its customers the CIA – is using cell phone ads in a very smart way to profit from them.
Where the company (Bsightful) uses the information provided free of charge about users from the application developers, and through it the company can determine the geographic location of anyone accurately, and at the same time the company sells this data to whoever wants.
It is worth noting that there is not enough information about the company (Bsightful) as its website does not mention anything about what the company does and it does not have accounts on social networking sites, however, the report shows how easy it is to collect site information through mobile phone ads, which may display Your smartphone security is at risk.
How does the company use mobile phone ads to collect data and sell it to whoever wants?
Suppose you are an advertiser, so if you want to purchase ad space within an app, you want to make sure that the people who use that app are the same people who are likely to buy your product, right? For example: If you sell men’s shavers, you probably don’t want to advertise in a women’s fashion app, because this audience will definitely not buy your product.
So to help match advertisers with the appropriate app audience, what is known as Demand-side platform or DSP are used, and using these platforms, application developers will upload their user data information, such as: What phones have installed this app and where is it located Advertisers will use this information to find the best place to place their ads.
According to the report, the Bsightful company creates a so-called shell Demand-side platform to collect location and other mobile data that app developers deliberately provide – but they have to resend ads from time to time to keep the DSP active – where the company can then sell This data is sent to governments, law enforcement, or any entity willing to pay.
Although this data obtained from these methods does not accurately collect location data directly, it is still accurate enough to threaten your security and privacy, under the best circumstances, the organization can accurately locate a person within one meter using his phone number only.
Of course, for this approach to work in tracking you, you will need to install the appropriate app in your phone and allow this app to use your information to target you with ads, as it will be difficult to track users who take extreme caution about app permissions, or install ad blockers in their phones.