[FEATURE PROPOSAL] A built-in trackers/ads blocker

app-suggestions
feature-proposal

#1

Hi everybody :slight_smile:

Since /e/ is an open-source system, trackers can only comes with applications installed by the user.

A very good solution is Blokada, but if we use it, we can’t use a VPN at the same time. So we have to choose between giving our data to the ISP or an advertising department.
A solution is to root in order to be able to activate both, but root is not recommended for security.

So the only true and reliable solution is an ads/trackers blocker integrated with /e/.

We would be able to see in real time thanks to a persistent notification the number of things blocked since the beginning and what request is blocked in real time.
A short history of blocked requests would be available in the blocker tab settings in order to be able to whitelist a request in case the blocker brokes something we want to use.

It would definitely be a main line feature, with a good media coverage.


Exodus et ensuite?
Washington Post finds 5,400 app trackers on an ordinary iPhone - 9to5Mac
/e/ ambition wrt data collection per hour for a typical day of use (Prof. Douglas C. Schmidt study)
#2

I have also been wondering for a long time if it’s possible to remove trackers from the installed apps, or cut them out from .apk before installation. Is it possible to discuss this topic in detail now?


#3

Not sure that will be possible as the trackers are built into the code of the apk. One way of cutting or removing them would require either forking and recompiling the code if it is open source. In most cases especially in the popular apps the code will not be open source. The best option I believe would be to start using alternatives for these popular apps. Getting the rest of the world or your friends to also accept these alternatives is another story altogeather :slight_smile:


#4

But it seems that some famous tool called MyAndroidTools can disable integrated app services, including various ad providers and analytics trackers. And it is definitely suitable for applications with closed source code.


#5

Great then you have the solution to your problem. Have you tried removing the ads from these closed apps? Does the app work after the removal. Personally have never tried this.


#6

I wouldn’t say that’s really a “problem” for me, because as my principle I generally choose software that respects my privacy, and it’s very rare that I don’t have a choice.

For the same reason, I haven’t had occasion to use this tool yet, but I can tell you that MyAndroidTools has a fairly large community that publishes the results of its experiments. For example, here is an impressive list of cleaned apps from one Russian site. As I understand it, the authors are testing the result for workability, and as you can see, this list contains mostly a closet-source programs.

Just imagine if MyAndroidTools were combined with Exodus database and automated…