App makers have figured out how to determine who’s uninstalled their software and potentially target them with ads urging them to reinstall, Bloomberg reports.
A number of tracking-tech vendors offer uninstall tracking, which normally works using so-called silent push notifications. Those are designed to let apps refresh information without actually popping up a message, but by monitoring which previously installed app instances aren’t acknowledging those messages, companies can discern who’s taken the apps off their phones. Then, using the unique advertising IDs associated with each phone, they can target those users for messages urging them to reinstall.
The trackers might violate Apple and Google policies for iOS and Android, though Bloomberg reports neither company commented on the matter.
Either way, it seems to violate user expectations that apps will cease their tracking once they’re off the phone, even if the loophole does just deliver software companies one last piece of information.