It’s no coincidence if you encounter ads of apps which you uninstalled a long time ago. A recent report from Bloomberg suggests that app developers have found a “legit” way to track you even if you deleted any of their apps.
Apparently, there are companies which offer uninstall tracking services to app developers of Android and iOS, both. They essentially work as silent push notifications which developers have long been using to refresh app information without notifying the user — like updating your social app without your knowledge is one example
However, in this case, the silent push notification is specifically sent to test whether the app is installed or not.
Bloomberg writes: “If the app doesn’t ping the developer back, the app is logged as uninstalled, and the uninstall tracking tools add those changes to the file associated with the given mobile device’s unique advertising ID.”
Companies like MoEngage, Localytics, and CleverTap offer these “Uninstall tracking” services to app developers. And then companies like T-Mobile and Spotify uses these services to win back its consumers.
The report also notes that it clearly violates Google and Apple privacy policies. The “silent push notification” system is set-up to benefit the users and not put the uninstall tracking system.
Anyway, if you encounter any such kind of ad on your watch, at least now you will know that some app developer is trying to play dirty.