How do mobile apps violate the behavioral policy of advertisement libraries?

Feng Dong, Haoyu Wang, Li Li, Yao Guo, Guoai Xu, Shaodong Zhang

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Advertisement libraries are used in almost two-Thirds of apps in Google Play. To increase economic revenue, some app developers tend to entice mobile users to unexpectedly click ad views during their interaction with the app, resulting in kinds of ad fraud. Despite some popular ad providers have published behavioral policies to prevent inappropriate behaviors/practices, no previous work has studied whether mobile apps comply with those policies. In this paper, we take Google Admob as the starting point to study policy-violation apps. We first analyze the behavioral policies of Admob and create a taxonomy of policy violations. Then we propose an automated approach to detect policy-violation apps, which takes advantage of two key artifacts: An automated modelbased Android GUI testing technique and a set of heuristic rules summarized from the behavior policies of Google Admob. We have applied our approach to 3,631 popular apps that have used the Admob library, and we could achieve a precision of 86% in detecting policy-violation apps. The results further show that roughly 2.5% of apps violate the policies, suggesting that behavioral policy violation is indeed a real issue in the Android advertising ecosystem.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHotMobile '18
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications
    EditorsAruna Balasubramanian
    Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
    Pages75-80
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)9781450356305
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2018
    EventInternational Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications 2018 - Tempe, United States of America
    Duration: 12 Feb 201813 Feb 2018
    Conference number: 19th
    https://dl-acm-org.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/citation.cfm?id=3177102&picked=prox (Proceedings)

    Workshop

    WorkshopInternational Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications 2018
    Abbreviated titleHotMobile 2018
    CountryUnited States of America
    CityTempe
    Period12/02/1813/02/18
    Internet address

    Keywords

    • Ad fraud
    • Ad library
    • Admob
    • Android
    • Behavior policy

    Cite this

    Dong, F., Wang, H., Li, L., Guo, Y., Xu, G., & Zhang, S. (2018). How do mobile apps violate the behavioral policy of advertisement libraries? In A. Balasubramanian (Ed.), HotMobile '18: Proceedings of the 19th International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications (pp. 75-80). New York NY USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). https://doi.org/10.1145/3177102.3177113
    Dong, Feng ; Wang, Haoyu ; Li, Li ; Guo, Yao ; Xu, Guoai ; Zhang, Shaodong. / How do mobile apps violate the behavioral policy of advertisement libraries?. HotMobile '18: Proceedings of the 19th International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications. editor / Aruna Balasubramanian. New York NY USA : Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2018. pp. 75-80
    @inproceedings{896bc1b02e1147f5b76eff68eea6d9b1,
    title = "How do mobile apps violate the behavioral policy of advertisement libraries?",
    abstract = "Advertisement libraries are used in almost two-Thirds of apps in Google Play. To increase economic revenue, some app developers tend to entice mobile users to unexpectedly click ad views during their interaction with the app, resulting in kinds of ad fraud. Despite some popular ad providers have published behavioral policies to prevent inappropriate behaviors/practices, no previous work has studied whether mobile apps comply with those policies. In this paper, we take Google Admob as the starting point to study policy-violation apps. We first analyze the behavioral policies of Admob and create a taxonomy of policy violations. Then we propose an automated approach to detect policy-violation apps, which takes advantage of two key artifacts: An automated modelbased Android GUI testing technique and a set of heuristic rules summarized from the behavior policies of Google Admob. We have applied our approach to 3,631 popular apps that have used the Admob library, and we could achieve a precision of 86{\%} in detecting policy-violation apps. The results further show that roughly 2.5{\%} of apps violate the policies, suggesting that behavioral policy violation is indeed a real issue in the Android advertising ecosystem.",
    keywords = "Ad fraud, Ad library, Admob, Android, Behavior policy",
    author = "Feng Dong and Haoyu Wang and Li Li and Yao Guo and Guoai Xu and Shaodong Zhang",
    year = "2018",
    month = "2",
    day = "12",
    doi = "10.1145/3177102.3177113",
    language = "English",
    isbn = "9781450356305",
    pages = "75--80",
    editor = "Aruna Balasubramanian",
    booktitle = "HotMobile '18",
    publisher = "Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)",
    address = "United States of America",

    }

    Dong, F, Wang, H, Li, L, Guo, Y, Xu, G & Zhang, S 2018, How do mobile apps violate the behavioral policy of advertisement libraries? in A Balasubramanian (ed.), HotMobile '18: Proceedings of the 19th International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), New York NY USA, pp. 75-80, International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications 2018, Tempe, United States of America, 12/02/18. https://doi.org/10.1145/3177102.3177113

    How do mobile apps violate the behavioral policy of advertisement libraries? / Dong, Feng; Wang, Haoyu; Li, Li; Guo, Yao; Xu, Guoai; Zhang, Shaodong.

    HotMobile '18: Proceedings of the 19th International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications. ed. / Aruna Balasubramanian. New York NY USA : Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2018. p. 75-80.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

    TY - GEN

    T1 - How do mobile apps violate the behavioral policy of advertisement libraries?

    AU - Dong, Feng

    AU - Wang, Haoyu

    AU - Li, Li

    AU - Guo, Yao

    AU - Xu, Guoai

    AU - Zhang, Shaodong

    PY - 2018/2/12

    Y1 - 2018/2/12

    N2 - Advertisement libraries are used in almost two-Thirds of apps in Google Play. To increase economic revenue, some app developers tend to entice mobile users to unexpectedly click ad views during their interaction with the app, resulting in kinds of ad fraud. Despite some popular ad providers have published behavioral policies to prevent inappropriate behaviors/practices, no previous work has studied whether mobile apps comply with those policies. In this paper, we take Google Admob as the starting point to study policy-violation apps. We first analyze the behavioral policies of Admob and create a taxonomy of policy violations. Then we propose an automated approach to detect policy-violation apps, which takes advantage of two key artifacts: An automated modelbased Android GUI testing technique and a set of heuristic rules summarized from the behavior policies of Google Admob. We have applied our approach to 3,631 popular apps that have used the Admob library, and we could achieve a precision of 86% in detecting policy-violation apps. The results further show that roughly 2.5% of apps violate the policies, suggesting that behavioral policy violation is indeed a real issue in the Android advertising ecosystem.

    AB - Advertisement libraries are used in almost two-Thirds of apps in Google Play. To increase economic revenue, some app developers tend to entice mobile users to unexpectedly click ad views during their interaction with the app, resulting in kinds of ad fraud. Despite some popular ad providers have published behavioral policies to prevent inappropriate behaviors/practices, no previous work has studied whether mobile apps comply with those policies. In this paper, we take Google Admob as the starting point to study policy-violation apps. We first analyze the behavioral policies of Admob and create a taxonomy of policy violations. Then we propose an automated approach to detect policy-violation apps, which takes advantage of two key artifacts: An automated modelbased Android GUI testing technique and a set of heuristic rules summarized from the behavior policies of Google Admob. We have applied our approach to 3,631 popular apps that have used the Admob library, and we could achieve a precision of 86% in detecting policy-violation apps. The results further show that roughly 2.5% of apps violate the policies, suggesting that behavioral policy violation is indeed a real issue in the Android advertising ecosystem.

    KW - Ad fraud

    KW - Ad library

    KW - Admob

    KW - Android

    KW - Behavior policy

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85048707640&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1145/3177102.3177113

    DO - 10.1145/3177102.3177113

    M3 - Conference Paper

    SN - 9781450356305

    SP - 75

    EP - 80

    BT - HotMobile '18

    A2 - Balasubramanian, Aruna

    PB - Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

    CY - New York NY USA

    ER -

    Dong F, Wang H, Li L, Guo Y, Xu G, Zhang S. How do mobile apps violate the behavioral policy of advertisement libraries? In Balasubramanian A, editor, HotMobile '18: Proceedings of the 19th International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications. New York NY USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). 2018. p. 75-80 https://doi.org/10.1145/3177102.3177113