Anyone knows a good scientific report on this topic? I bet there are whole datacentres just for this. Another reason to stop the madness.
Well, it seems that there is a short study (16 p.) named Carbon Footprint of Unwanted Data-Use by Smartphones from quite recently.
Sometimes these SDKs do not only provide a certain function, but they also track the app user by
collecting information about him. This information is sent back to the developer of the SDK,
which is a so-called third-party. This third-party can use this information to build a profile
of the user, which is useful for targeted advertising.
Furthermore, to monetise their apps, app developers sell advertisement space in their apps
to advertisers. This is usually done through ad networks, which connect app publishers to
advertisers. The ad network tracks the app user and collects information about, for
example, his location, age, gender and interests to be able to show targeted and
personalised adds. (p. 7)
On the other hand all the apps calculating your personal footprints have those footprints themselves. Seen this way they’re meta-trackers.
It seems to be exactly the point: Automated carbon footprint tracking: What is not measured cannot improve.