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Did I Give Consent to This? Building a Complete Picture of the Privacy Risks in Android Apps

Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez, IMDEA Networks Madrid
12-1pm  18th Dec 2018


In this talk we describe a user-space mobile traffic measurement
platform, called Lumen Privacy Monitor, currently available in Google
Play. Lumen reveals how your mobile apps communicate with tracking
services and how they collect sensitive personal information about
you. By analysing the data collected from over 19,000 users who have
installed Lumen, we broadly characterise third-party advertising and
tracking services for mobile apps, including their operations and
regulatory compliance. We identified over 2,121 such services, of
which 233 were previously unknown. The majority of these services are
present in children-oriented apps, hence potentially violating the
COPPA rule. The talk will also briefly cover our ongoing work
comparing Chinese app stores to Google Play, and summarise our
findings about some pre-installed apps that collect data without user

Short Bio

Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez is an Assistant Research Professor at IMDEA
Networks where he leads the Internet Analytics Group. Since 2014, he
is also Research Scientist at the Networking and Security team at the
International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) in Berkeley. Narseo
completed his Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Jon Crowcroft at
the University of Cambridge. In July 2013, Dr. Vallina-Rodriguez
joined ICSI in Berkeley (California) as a Post-Doc, becoming a
Research Scientist and Principal Investigator one year after. During
his doctoral studies Dr. Vallina-Rodriguez also interned in industry
research labs, such as Deutsche Telekom Labs in Berlin (Germany) and
the scientific group at Telefonica Research (Spain). The outcome of
his research has been awarded with a Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship in
2012, both the distinguished paper award and the community service
Award at ACM IMC 2018, the IETF ANRP in 2016, a short-paper award at
ACM CoNEXT'14, the best paper award at ACM HotMiddlebox'15 and a
DataTransparencyLabs grant in 2016 for characterizing mobile tracking
services with the Lumen Privacy Monitor. Narseo's research has been
extensively covered by international media, including The Guardian,
Wired, ArsTechnica, NPR, The Verge, ABC Australia, and RTVE among many

Personal website:


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