Pixalate analyzed over 7,800 VPN apps in the Google and Apple app stores; 33% of such apps in the Apple App Store have potential access to personal information
LONDON and PALO ALTO, Calif., June 30, 2022 - Pixalate, the market-leading fraud protection, privacy, and compliance analytics platform for Connected TV (CTV) and Mobile Advertising, today released the Q1 2022 Privacy on Virtual Private Network (“VPN”) Apps Report, a comprehensive analysis of the state of privacy within VPN mobile apps through Q1 2022.
VPN apps are in-demand among users with initially restricted internet access - such as China or Russia - but also among those seeking greater online privacy. Consumers use VPN apps to protect their information online, notably through masking their device’s true IP address. Pixalate’s analysis reveals how often users’ residential IP addresses are still transmitted in the advertising bid stream from within the VPN apps themselves.
There are over 7,800 VPN apps in the Google Play and Apple App Stores in Q1 2022 (i.e., apps with “VPN” in their title)
A large majority of the VPN apps were listed in the Google Play Store (81%)
230 VPN apps transmit the users’ residential IP address to the advertising bid stream
33% of VPN apps in the Apple Store and 21% in the Google Store have potential access to personal information through the sensitive permissions they request
What’s inside the report
Pixalate’s Q1 2022 Privacy on VPN Apps Report includes:
Breakdown of VPN apps by country of registry
What data is shared with advertisers and/or data brokers
Pixalate is the market-leading fraud protection, privacy, and compliance analytics platform for Connected TV (CTV) and Mobile Advertising. We work 24/7 to guard your reputation and grow your media value. Pixalate offers the only system of coordinated solutions across display, app, video, and OTT/CTV for better detection and elimination of ad fraud. Pixalate is an MRC-accredited service for the detection and filtration of sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) across desktop and mobile web, mobile in-app, and OTT/CTV advertising. www.pixalate.com
The content of this press release, and the Q1 2022 Privacy on VPN Apps Report (the "Report"), reflect Pixalate's opinions with respect to factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Any data shared is grounded in Pixalate’s proprietary technology and analytics, which Pixalate is continuously evaluating and updating. Any references to outside sources should not be construed as endorsements. Pixalate’s opinions are just that, opinions, which means that they are neither facts nor guarantees. Pixalate does not independently verify third-party information. Pixalate is sharing this data not to impugn the standing or reputation of any entity, person or app, but, instead, to report findings and trends pertaining to apps available for download in the official Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Disclaimer: The content of this page reflects Pixalate’s opinions with respect to the factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Any proprietary data shared is grounded in Pixalate’s proprietary technology and analytics, which Pixalate is continuously evaluating and updating. Any references to outside sources should not be construed as endorsements. Pixalate’s opinions are just that - opinion, not facts or guarantees.
Per the MRC,
“'Fraud' is not intended to represent fraud as defined in various laws, statutes and ordinances or as conventionally used in U.S. Court or other
legal proceedings, but rather a custom definition strictly for advertising measurement purposes. Also per the MRC,
“‘Invalid Traffic’ is defined generally as traffic
that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria, or otherwise does not represent legitimate ad traffic that should be included in measurement counts.
Among the reasons why ad traffic may be deemed invalid is it is a result of non-human traffic (spiders, bots, etc.), or activity designed to produce fraudulent traffic.”