TrackerControl — a way to neutralize in-app trackers

It’s like ClassyShark3xodus and NetGuard in a single package. A key feature of this tool is its capability to explore trackers inside the installed apps and restrict them from the network without isolating the app itself.

TrackerControl allows users to monitor and control the widespread, ongoing, hidden data collection in mobile apps about user behaviour (‘tracking’).

To visualise this tracking, a compehensive database of tracker companies from the X-Ray project, developed by Professor Max Van Kleek (University of Oxford) and others, is used to reveal the companies behind tracking to users and to allow users to block tracking selectively.

The app further aims to educate users about their legal rights under current EU Data Protection Law (i.e. GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive)

Under the hood, TrackerControl uses Android’s VPN functionality, to analyse apps’ network communications locally on the Android device. This is accomplished through a local VPN server, through which all network communications are passed, to enable the analysis by TrackerControl. In other words, no external VPN server is used, and hence no network data leaves the user’s device for the purposes of tracker analysis.

TrackerControl was developed by Konrad Kollnig, as part of his MSc thesis in Computer Science at the University of Oxford, under the supervision of Professor Max van Kleek.

Available from the IzzyOnDroid F-Droid repo: https://apt.izzysoft.de/fdroid/index/apk/net.kollnig.missioncontrol

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Thx for posting, will try soon. Hope I will be better than NoRootFirewall

OK, I have installed it. Than I have tested a app with 7 trackers and mission control finds none :hot_face:
So the app is far away from usable

Are you sure you have done everything right? Perhaps, it is necessary to select something? Or activate? Or reboot? Or manually update? Although it’s an early alpha, so any kind of trouble is OK.

There is not much to do. Install and running.
The app selection works also not full. I’m selecting an app and next app and when come back, the app is deselected. It seems to be in a really early alpha stage. Lets see in some month when first beta is available

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It seems, that the app needs original google play services. So a no go. I have just written/reported to the dev.

Hope everything will be fixed and polished. I think this is a really valuable development, especially for casual users.

Now I have to use common content blocker for this purpose (AdAway), but it is hard to be sure if my selected HOSTS include everything that Exodus Privacy knows.

The dev has answered me very fast and he is still working on it.

Let’s see how it goes ahead. First beta I will try again

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I tried it under Lineage 16.0 with Open GApps pico: Same problems as before.
What I have found out: It doesnt work at all, when “Blokada” is running. Both apps are using a local VPN.

You only be able to run one vpn. As soon as you start the second app with vpn the first stops automatically

I’m in touch with the developer. A very nice guy. I’m now his ‘alpha tester’ :slight_smile:
I have found some issue and he has changed his code asap. very good !!! The communication is also very good.
I’m using it now on my e-pie and my LOS17 devices.
I think everyone should give it a try. But be careful, if you have setup a ‘private DNS’ the app want work well. The tracker recognition is not correct in that case.

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Could you please ask developer if he can add a root mode for those who don’t want to sacrifice the VPN slot? In my first post, I compared TrackerControl to NetGuard because of the way it works, but something more like AdAway or AFWall+ (both don’t require VPN) is more preferable in this case.

I’ve asked. But … I personally think non-root is better, because root makes the device unsecure and rooting is nothing for mums and dads.

No root is indeed better.
Turns out the app is not compatible on my device, so I can’t try it out :frowning:

What device ?
What OS ?
What the error message ?

Android VPN firewall solutions are clever non-root solutions, but worthless to those of us that actually use a VPN to connect to a remote network with our devices. For example, I always use a VPN when using a public WiFi.

A firewall like this is something that should be baked into the ROM, and not use the Android VPN feature in its implementation.

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LG G3 D855, Android 5.0
Shown in F-Droid it is not compatible, so I can’t even install it.
Downloading the apk will result in a parsing error because of the compatibility problem.

This is from the dev.: So Android 5.1 is needed :frowning:

Android Versions:
  • Target: 10.0
  • MinVer: 5.1

it’s time for an upgrade :wink:
https://androidcure.com/best-custom-roms-for-lg-g3/

but I think it’s funny. Most people here call all the time:
We want Android 10!
We want current service packs!
We want current security updates !!

And you are still on Android 5. Cool, that I like :+1::joy:

I have a case where TrackerControl is finding a tracker(“Google” in the “Alphabet/Google” class) in Librem Mail (a fork of K-9, like the stock /e/ mail app). This is despite the fact that ClassyShark finds no trackers in the app. Is it perhaps classifying contact with the mail server as a tracker event? I will try to test this… Any other ideas?

Edit: just looked in the “Network” tab, and identified the “tracker” in Librem Mail as imap.gmail.com, which is indeed the mail server. Is there a way that we can whitelist the mail servers (or other servers)? That would be a useful feature (maybe an “Advanced” feature).

Agree with you in both regards. I need my VPN slot to use it by its designated purpose. And I’ve also long wished that such functionality to be built into eOS by default.