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Title:Four-layer cake: separating advertisement from host application on Android
Author(s):Xu, Lingyu
Department / Program:Computer Science
Discipline:Computer Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):Android
Advertising
Privacy
Abstract:Many applications on Android rely on advertisements for revenue. In the current advertisement model, ad libraries are linked to host applications and their permission requirements are coupled. More permissions means more targeted ads, which brings more revenue. As a result, developers tend to seek more permissions from the user, which is not desirable with regard to the user's privacy. In this thesis work we attempt to address two approaches to solve this problem. The first separates ad library permission requirements from the host application, and the second provides users with a four-level privacy-concerned advertisement mechanism. Though developing the ad module and the host app in two different applications makes sure that the permission requirements are separated, the ad module requires interaction with the user through the host app. The Android system does not yet support cross-application embedding and interaction. In this thesis work, we build our model based on an existing work called LayerCake, which supports secure embedded user interfaces by modifying the Android system, allowing the host application to embed another activity that runs in a separate process. We propose to provide users with four levels of ads to choose. Highest Privacy Level (Level 3): No Ads, which means the user makes a payment directly to the provider to get rid of the ads; Fundamental Privacy Level (Level 2): Plain Ads, which means the advertiser broadcasts ads without targeting; Pragmatism Privacy Level (Level 1): Inter-app Ads, which means we utilize installed packages information to select advertisements; Trusted Privacy Level (Level 0): In-app Ads, which means we gather user information in the host app to provide more targeted ads. Our work, Four-Layer Cake, using the above two approaches, effectively creates an architecture that Android users are aware of how their information are collected and used, so they can select their own privacy and service level.
Issue Date:2015-04-28
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/78682
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Lingyu Xu
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015


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