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Pixalate Week in Review: March 28 - April 1, 2022

Apr 1, 2022 4:00:00 PM

This week's review of ad fraud and privacy in the digital advertising space.

OFAC Russian Sanctions Tracker: List of Mobile Apps and Websites Registered to Sanctioned Entities (updated March 2022)

OFAC  Russian Sanctions Tracker

In the light of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Pixalate compiled a list of mobile apps and website domains for which title and/or developer name matches entities that have been added to the most recent US-OFAC sanctions lists.

The list covers a full month of sanctions from February 24 until March 24, 2022.

1,300 apps from Russia delisted from Google Play Store in January and February 2022

1,300 Apps From Russia Delisted from Google Play Store January and February 2022

Pixalate researched which apps linked to Russian developers were removed from the Google Play store in the first two months of 2022.

Pixalate found that:

  • At least 1,298 apps registered in Russia were delisted (removed) from the Google and Apple mobile app stores in January and February 2022, according to Pixalate’s data
  • The vast majority of these (1,282) were delisted from the Google Play Store (16 were removed from the Apple App Store)
  • 16 of the delisted apps had at least 1 million downloads prior to delisting
  • The full list of apps is available here.

Apple and Meta Gave User Data to Hackers Who Used Forged Legal Requests


Bloomberg reports that Apple and Meta mistakenly provided user data to hackers posing as law enforcement officials. The hackers are believed to be associated with a group known as the “Recursion Team” and some of the information they obtained is suspected to have been used in harassment campaigns and possibly to facilitate financial fraud.

Facebook Small Advertisers Win Class-Action Status in Fraud Suit


AdAge published an article detailing that a lawsuit against Meta – Facebook’s parent company – can proceed and that more than 2 million small ad buyers are able to register as plaintiffs.

The lawsuit alleges that Meta overstated the size of its audience to ad buyers. In 2021, Facebook’s audience measuring tool was found to count fake and duplicate accounts among its metrics.

What is the future for privacy legislation and how should business leaders prepare?


Reuters reported that Virginia, Colorado, California and most recently, Utah have passed comprehensive privacy legislation. As more states look to follow suit in 2022 and 2023, businesses need to evaluate their exposure.

Reuters goes on to state that “even in those states where consensus is elusive on comprehensive legislation, businesses should continue to monitor the legislative landscape.”

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