Exploring ADINT: Using Ad Targeting for Surveillance on a Budget — or — How Alice Can Buy Ads to Track Bob | Vines, Roesner, Kohno

Paul Vines, Franziska Roesner, Tadayoshi Kohno; Exploring ADINT: Using Ad Targeting for Surveillance on a Budget — or — How Alice Can Buy Ads to Track Bob; In Proceedings of the 16th ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES 2017); 2017-10-30; 11 pages; outreach.

ahem → <ahem>it’s an implications performance.</ahem>
tl;dr → Tadayoshi et al. are virtuosos at these performance art happenings. Catchy hook, cool marketing name (ADINT) and press outreach frontrunning the actual conference venue. For the wuffie and the lulz. Nice demo tho.
and → They bought geofence campaigns in a grid. They used close-the-loop analytics to identify the sojourn trail of the target.
and → Er… don’t use Grindr.

Abstract

The online advertising ecosystem is built upon the ability of advertising networks to know properties about users (e.g., their interests or physical locations) and deliver targeted ads based on those properties. Much of the privacy debate around online advertising has focused on the harvesting of these properties by the advertising networks. In this work, we explore the following question: can third-parties use the purchasing of ads to extract private information about individuals? We find that the answer is yes. For example, in a case study with an archetypal advertising network, we find that — for $1000 USD — we can track the location of individuals who are using apps served by that advertising network, as well as infer whether they are using potentially sensitive applications (e.g., certain religious or sexuality-related apps). We also conduct a broad survey of other ad networks and assess their risks to similar attacks. We then step back and explore the implications of our findings.

Promotions

Separately noted.

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