TrackerControl

No root required, but other VPNs or Private DNS not supported.

Have missing features or bugs? Join our dicussion group, use the issue tracker or contact Konrad directly ([email protected])!

TrackerControl allows users to monitor and control the widespread, ongoing, hidden data collection in mobile apps about user behaviour ('tracking').

TrackerControl Logo

To detect tracking, TrackerControl checks all network traffic against the Disconnect blocklist, used and trusted by the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Additionally, our in-house blocklist is used, created from analysing ~1 000 000 apps!

This approach

The app also aims to educate about your rights under Data Protection Law, such the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Under the hood, TrackerControl uses Android's VPN functionality, to analyse apps' network communications locally on the Android device. This is accomplished through a local VPN server, to enable network traffic analysis by TrackerControl.

No external VPN server is used, to keep your data safe!

Download / Installation

Disclaimer: The usage of this app is at your own risk. No app can offer 100% protection against tracking.

TrackerControl is available on F-Droid, the most popular open-source Android app store:

<img src="https://fdroid.gitlab.io/artwork/badge/get-it-on.png" alt="Get it on F-Droid" height="80">

Alternatively, the app can be downloaded directly from GitHub, including automatic checks for updates.

Communities

  1. Telegram Discussion Group: https://t.me/TrackerControl
  2. Telegram News Channel: https://t.me/TrackerControlChannel
  3. Matrix: https://matrix.to/#/!htazLJNOSogSGbSPQL:matrix.org?via=matrix.org

Highlights

TrackerControl provides

Screenshot of main screen Screenshot of trackers screen Screenshot of actions screen

Contrary to similar solutions, this application does not intercept SSL connections, minimising privacy risks and allowing for usage on unrooted Android devices. Only the meta data about network communications is logged, and displayed to the users.

Privacy notice

TrackerControl allows users to monitor the network communications on their Android device. This network data qualifies as personal data, but is only processed locally on the user's device.

If the user consents, TrackerControl contacts the Google Play Store to retrieve further information about the users' apps. The app automatically contacts GitHub to check for updates, which can be disabled from the app settings. No personal data is ever shared, other than what is strictly necessary for network communications (e.g. IP address).

Cookie policy

TrackerControl does not use cookies of any kind.

The only information saved on the user's device is non-identifying and strictly necessary for the operation of TrackerControl:

  1. a database of network communications, and
  2. user settings.

This information is kept on the user's device until app data is removed manually by the user (e.g. by uninstalling).

Credits

The majority of the development was carried out by Konrad Kollnig (University of Oxford).

Yet, the development of this app would not have been possible without the help of many outstandings minds, including Max van Kleek, Katherine Fletcher, George Chalhoub, Sir Nigel Shadbolt and numerous app testers and friends.

Further, the app itself builds upon a range of publicly available tools, the foundation of this work.

VPN Functionality: The underlying network analysis functionality is provided by the NetGuard Firewall, developed by Marcel Bokhorst.

Disconnect Tracker List: TrackerControl integrates the Disconnect list of known tracker domains, that is distributed with the Firefox browser.

X-Ray Tracker List: TrackerControl also uses the tracker blocklist by Reuben Binns, Ulrik Lyngs, Max Van Kleek, Jun Zhao, Timothy Libert, and Nigel Shadbolt from the X-Ray project, created from analysing ~1 000 000 apps. This database was released as part of their 2018 paper on Third Party Tracking in the Mobile Ecosystem. The original data can be retrieved here.

Icons: The app uses icons made by bqlqn from www.flaticon.com, and a rocket icon by Dave Gandy under the SIL Open Font License.

GDPR Requests: For the GDPR requests, the templates from the website My Data Done Right by the NGO "Bits of Freedom" were adopted.

License

This project is licensed under GPLv3.