1 min readAndroid app used in multi-million dollar ad fraud scheme

What is the price of free apps?

This recent article from Buzznews uncovers a multi-million dollar ad fraud scheme which victimized thousands of advertisers and stole more than $75 million in ad revenue.

Estimates show that the app installed trackers on at least 125 android apps to gain information on the online behavior of its users. Data was then used to create bots that acted like real users and generate clicks on in-app advertisements.

Implications for AI

This elaborate scheme has already funneled millions of dollars from small to medium business owners, seeking only to grow their enterprise. Moreover, pinpointed apps involved in the scheme utilized the Google platform, which itself, actually tracks online behavior of its users.

With AI being used in our daily lives, developers need even more data in order to understand how the human being works. If you are utilizing the Google platform in your communications and interactions with others, you can be sure that your data is being used too, for this purpose.

Buzznews doesn’t know yet whether Google was aware of the trackers installed in the apps in question, but for sure, the relatively relaxed mobile ecosystem promoted by Google, and the business model on which it is built on, are contributory to this fraud.

Questions to Reflect On

  • Is it possible for bigger advertising companies like Facebook to be utilizing fraudulent traffic?
  • How much income do advertising companies get with every website referral?

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