Month: May 2014

An ounce of User Control is worth a pound of Malware Scanners and Antiviruses

How come Android, which is probably the most secure operating system, with its mandatory application sandbox for all applications and application-defined and user-granted permissions is by far the most common host for mobile malware?

How much the new Android security tool from Google, Malware Scanner, will help? Is the periodically check for threats enough? Our wild guess: we must go deeper.

The root cause is trust. We trust too many Apps. In a market with over a million Apps, surely there will be a few bad apples.

The way we can stop malware from doing damage in the first place, is to go one extra step with the application-defined and user-granted permissions for Network Access.

Users need to be alerted before an App tries to access and upload user’s data. We must know When, Why, What and to Whom our data is sent.

Our Internet Firewall extends the Android’s Network Permission model, guaranteeing piece of mind when using OTHER Apps by providing user controlled, fine-grained access to Internet for OTHER Android Apps and it enables Android Apps to download, but not upload.

But Apps, need to monetize themselves, and all the Advertising SDKs require Network access from hosting Apps. That is why we created a new Advertising SDK which does not require internet Access for hosting Ads.

The extension of the Android Network Permission Model will prevent your Flashlight from tracking you. Just try our Flashlight, build with our services – even as it is able to display advertisements, it is *not* able to upload any of your data.

Magic!

AdMob vs MoPub vs 0PII Mobile Advertisement engines

0PII is a Mobile, Privacy Aware, Personalized Advertisement Solution for Android.

A few key points about 0PII framework
  • It is a built-in framework to help the 3rd party Apps to provide the personalized recommendations and advertisements to the end users based on the user profile
  • The user profile is created by monitoring/analyzing user behaviors (like browser history), kept in the phone and will not be exposed to anyone else – never leaves the phone.
  • Ads are downloaded only from designated 0PII servers (like http://data.0pii.com/data), and we control each Ad’s URL. If we feel an URL is unsafe, we will not accept the Ad in our network.
  • 0PII delivers Targeted & Personalized Advertisement without Surveillance, and it is supported by decentralized user data and services designed for Security and Privacy.
  • That means we are able to connect Advertisers with their potential clients, without users giving up privacy in exchange for convenience and services.
  • The basic idea is that we download thousands/millions of Ads inside the user’s mobile device, and we match Ads against user’s profile inside the mobile device, without uploading any private data in the cloud (cookies, device ID, location, …).
  • Uploading user’s data is restricted though the separation of the Network Service. Internet Access is provided by an Open Source Service (Internet Firewall) under total user control. This Service that can be manually installed by the user if so s/he chooses.
Key advantages for Advertisers:
  • Better Targeted and Personalized Advertisement, instead of second guessing user’s interests
Key advantages for Publishers (Android Application Developers):
  • The user’s good will from the commitment for privacy and security
  • Apps using our solution do not require Location nor Network Permissions *1
  • More downloads of their apps (about 50% of users hate to install apps that want too many permissions, especially Network and Location permissions!)
  • The user’s good will from the commitment for privacy and security.
 Key advantages for users (Privacy and Security):
  • We don’t use tracking, cookies
  • User data never leaves the phone
  • The user are safe and secure, as we protect his/her privacy
  • Users get free Apps and services, without giving up privacy
  • The Advertisement service runs inside of their phone, and user is in control
  • Any user data that 0PII has, always stays on the device, it never leaves the user’s device, and no 3rd apps accesses the user data that 0PII has.

 

*1 Apps using our solution, might require Network permissions in order to provide their services to users, but the data stored by 0PII is just as safe.

 

You might be aware of AdMob and MoPub Advertisement platform. Let’s see how these 3 platforms compare:

 

  AdMob(Google) MoPub(Twitter) 0PII
Requires upload of User/Device Id for targeted Ads Yes Yes No
Apps Required Permissions Network Network None
Requires changes to App Android Manifest File Yes Yes No
Ads Selection Place Cloud Cloud Device
Data used User Tracking Profile stored in the Cloud Cloud profile uploading user Device Browsing & Apps installed Device Browsing & Apps installed
Accidental click prevention option Interactive 2 clicks ? Long Click, non interactive.
Centralized tracking Yes Yes No
Pass User ID in URL Yes Yes No
Show Ads while Offline No No (*might use cached ads, but app needs storage permission) Yes. No extra permissions required for Apps
Biding type Highest payer Highest payer Combination of Best match for user, App Quality, App Install Base and Price
Ads library running Same process Same process In a service hosted by a different process
Requires publisher ID Yes Yes No, uses APK as key
Ads formats Many Many Only Text Ads launching URL or Android App Install. Other Custom formats might be provided by App itself.
Network Access Through App, Closed source with upload and download connection Through App, Closed source with upload and download connection Through separate Open Source Service that allows downloads only, no user/device data is uploaded

 

Please contact edisonn@0pii.com if you discover any errors, or if the SDKs have been updated in the meantime, so we can update the table!

 

Links

AdMob: https://developers.google.com/mobile-ads-sdk/docs/

MoPub: https://github.com/mopub/mopub-android-sdk/wiki/Getting-Started

 

Ad Platforms

Online privacy fears are not just the ramblings of a few paranoid people afraid to share any data. Online advertising is one of the key targets in the current debate about privacy. For many years, the push from marketing and advertising gurus has been to learn everything there is to know about a customer with the ultimate goal to give the customer exactly what he wants.

We have evolved from Amazon recommending books, to Amazon knowing your habits so well that they know exactly what you will buy –even before you do. And they will take every chance to promote items that fit your taste and purchase patterns. Thanks to this shift in advertising, data has become as valuable as revenue from sales of products and services. Data collected is data that may be vulnerable to bad actors and outside parties who will misuse the data for crime or intrusion. As a result, we have a standoff between privacy concerns and personalized marketing.

 

Now  

The way it works now

Your data being stored in the cloud. Such data includes, but it is not limited to:  internet tracking, profiles, shopping carts, ratings, and more. And a lot of people used to think that information was safe

But it’s not.

0PII: How It Works

The 0PII platform will enable mobile apps already on your customer’s phone to display advertisements based on their private profile which is stored encrypted on their device only. The quality of the service provided is ensured by downloading thousands or even millions of ads along with metadata from public sources. We can download the metadata of about 5,000 Articles or Ads in about one megabyte (1MB) of data. It takes only a few seconds and since it happens in the background, it won’t interfere with the user’s activity. The public data (ads, news, feeds, etc.) will be evaluated on the device against the user’s personal profile (browsing history, interests, past ratings, preferences and more, as much as the user is willing to permit).

CloudLock

Here’s the key — the evaluation is not made available to anyone but the user. User data is NOT uploaded to the cloud. All of the evaluation of the personal profile is done within the confines of the device.

  When consumers see this logo on your ad or app they will know their personal information is safe and secure. Call or email us today to find out more.