For New Year’s 2020, we suggest making a resolution to take care of your data. To that end, we’d like to present εxodus to you, a platform created and edited by the organization Exodus Privacy, that helps you see what trackers have lodged themselves in your smartphone apps.
Really become the master of your own smartphone
εxodus lets you put your smartphone apps under the microscope so that you can tell what trackers you’re carrying around in your pocket. If you don’t know what a tracker is, it’s a piece of software that collects data about you and your activities. Of course, certain trackers are “legitimate,” or, let’s say, understandable, like certain bug trackers that help developers improve their products. But trackers are more well known for the ability they give to ascertain the profile of each of us for commercial purposes, and then share or sell these data to third parties. These trackers, when they don’t have a “legitimate reason,” are primarily installed in order to collect information to profile you with. We can therefore say that these trackers are in reality spies that serve to push the consumption of more products. εxodus seeks out, in your phone, the trackers in the apps you’ve installed. To do so, εxodus created a search engine accessible via their application (only available on Android) or via the εxodus Privacy website. Warning! It’s important to note that εxodus does not decompile apps! Thanks to this platform, you’ll finally know which of your apps are spying on you for advertisers. And then you might want to ask yourself if you really need that particular app, or if there may not be some other, more ethical option …
Who is Exodus Privacy?
Exodus Privacy is a French non-profit organization created by “hactivists” with the goal of protecting private data. They created the organization November 24, 2017 and their entry into the world of private data made waves, attracting widespread media coverage in Le Monde (link in French), The Intercept, and the Huffington Post, to name a few. At that time, εxodus offered a list of apps they’d analyzed that internet users could consult freely. Starting in 2018, users could submit their own apps to the platform. εxodus also let users suggest apps they had not yet analyzed. What’s more, all the code is open source.
Gandi Supports Exodus Privacy
The “Gandi Supports” program aims to support projects (non-profit organizations most of the time) that are committed to doing good (for the planet, for animals, for minorities, etc.) or to developing the free software industry, especially when it comes to protecting private data. This support takes the form of Gandi products, advice, and experience in order to be able to give real help with regards to the project in question. Exodus Privacy is one of these supported projects. The primary platform is hosted on Gandi servers. In September 2019, we met Lovis IX, cofunder, Codimp, and sysadmin, who shared this interview about their experience with Gandi. In October 2019, we also hosted them in the second edition of the Gandi Social Club, an event that brings together ten organizations, projects, NGOs, and educational supervisors at our Paris office so they can meet and present on their areas of work.
Please also note that if you want to contribute to the success of this project and you happen to speak Spanish, you can help translate the app—don’t hesitate to contact them, they’ll be thrilled!