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Privacy: Amobee user tracker found on some tests from Airtel users

A report from human rights organization Access indicates that in some cases, Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel was inserting a "tracking header" in the connections of some users. While the data sample is clearly very small - only four tests from Airtel were confirmed as being tracked by Access over a six month period, it is also dependent on users testing their own connection on Access' AmIBeingTracked.com tool. All in all, 702 tests were conducted from India, of which 418 (59.5%) were inconclusive, 280 were not being tracked (39.8%), and 4 (0.56%) were being tracked. Only 702 (0.39%) of the 180,000 tests included in this report were from India. Clearly, India needs a bigger sample size, and across operators, not just Airtel. You may test your connection here. Access points out that tracking headers are in fact not cookies at all because they are injected at the network level, out of the reach of the user. A more accurate term would be Carrier-Injected HTTP Header. "Headers are an essential part of internet communications. When you use the internet on a mobile device, you normally transmit one or more unique identifiers — including IMEI, (8) IMSI, (9) and ICCID(10) identities — that include information about who you are and where you are located. But tracking headers go beyond such normal data sharing," the report says. We sent Airtel the following questions 1. Please confirm or deny whether Airtel was ever used a tracking header from Amobee (a Singtel company), as indicated in the report: https://www.accessnow.org/page/-/AIBT-Report.pdf 2. Please…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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