IPhone, Apple, Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, IOS, Android, Internet… Trackers, control and security of your data… Find out how your devices intelligently track your activity on the internet.

I realized after watching Amy Plant’s excellent video on trackers and phones, how right she was… Without knowing it, and above all, being careful on a daily basis, I still give my data to dozens of websites…

I suggest you start by watching Amy Plant’s video (video is in french, but youtube offer live translation, anyway, I resume the subject after):

In this article I will only talk about iPhone, first because I know the Apple world, but also because it seems more complicated to talk about data control on Android, the OS made by Google, which is without doubt one of the most important marketing company 😉

What is the finding?

The problem raised by Amy is simple. Application developers regularly use libraries, SDKs.

SDKs/Libraries are software libraries available free of charge on the Internet which aim to simplify or solve a developer’s task. Imagine having to integrate a map into your application, having to use a motion sensor, or process an image… It is very rare to perform these time-consuming tasks by yourself, which can be used via SDKs available for free on the internet.


The source or code of these free SDKs is often poorly understood. The problem comes from the fact that these libraries inherit the permissions that you grant to the application. Therefore, if you give access to your contacts, to your photo gallery, these bookstores can, in theory, also use them.

An example that raises some questions…

Sometimes the problem can be quite subtle. Take for example a weather widget. You give it access to your location when the application is active. Normal, right? you want to know the weather of your position…

Thinking well, you give him access to the position when the application is active.

Right, but the widget is still displayed, so it’s still active. Therefore, if developers use suspicious libraries, they have access to your location in real time. This is a simple example among others.

Note : In the following example, I show you the communication of my weather application on the internet. I am not saying that this application exploits my data in an illicit way, I note that I do not control what is done with my information.

On this capture, you see the rate at which my weather application locates me… It’s quite appalling, a much lower rate is more than enough to display the weather forecast for my position, don’t you think?

No doubt that a lower rhythm would also save my battery lifetime.

How can I check my app activity?

Thanks Apple, On IPhone, you have an option to watch the network traffic of applications, but also to check the permissions granted.

To do this on IOS 16, simply go to:

“Settings” -> “Privacy and Security” then at the bottom, “Apps Privacy Report”.

In the case of my weather widget, I see that it communicates with 130 different sites, including tracking specialists: critéo, double click, smart adserver, google, amazon…

Me who thought to pay attention to my data…

The exchanges are encrypted, but one fact is there… 130 sites receive traffic from my phone, and more specifically, from my weather application.

Some good news ?

I’ll spare you the analysis of the applications that we already know are very (too) communicating with the trackers…

Looking at my applications with new eyes, I had some good surprises. My bank, for example, has a very closed application, no calls outside their site. Cheer.

My office telephony app, which also seems to communicate very poorly with other domains.

A conclusion ?

In summary, it is almost impossible to escape this permanent “marketing” tracking of your activities on the Internet. We can try to reduce it by being careful with our data, but it is a daily job that requires considerable effort.

It seems trivial that a company could get marketing information this way, but do you really want your phone to track your location all day and give that information to external sites? Do you really agree to be located during an appointment with a doctor or specialist? at a friend’s house ? In stores? This is all information that can be used by these actors.

Keep in mind the adage: “If it’s free, you are the product!”.

Sources :

  • d’Amy Plant Youtube channel : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9wzC5mFFcIdguoyveTo6Ng
  • https://mightysignal.com/top-ios-sdks
  • Instagram Amy Plant : https://www.instagram.com/iciamyplant/?hl=fr