Airpush passing phone numbers

Recently I used one of the app that is using airpush. I clicked on an ad (Prompt ad)
After this I started getting text messages (from a short code). It appears Advertisers on Airpush are using Phone numbers for spamming people who click on ads. (I am sure we all know about premium SMS services).

Obviously I have no way to be certain whether this SMS spamming started because of clicking on Airpush ad but this started happening the next day of clicking ad.

I really like to use service that makes developers money but this is really crossing boundaries and putting both developers and end users at risk.

Been using AirPush for a year. Never received any sms.

For end users, not developers.
Also please see latest TOS dialog, it clearly states that email and phone number are passed to Advertisers when users click on ads. I suspect this is the reason why AirPush has high eCPM with prompt ads.
Is anyone seriously thinking every one who advertises through Airpush is not going misuse phone number and email?

I had all apps installed and used many of them with AirPush ads.

Did click those ads. No sms for me.

Same here. I don’t think it would be legal if they sent you sms spam anyway. Anyway, we could test the ads on the emulator and capture the outgoing traffic with a tool like wireshark to see what is being sent.

I’m happy I never use AirPush and I will never do it because I can’t trust a company that trick developers and users like that.
I prefer less revenues but not to be in such a mess.

Airpush may or may not be doing this. But I’d rather be on the safe side. I’m still dealing with the headache of user complaints, from Dr. Web flagging my app with Leadbolt SDK as having a virus. (And I don’t use notification or icon ads!) I don’t want to include stuff that may be remotely virus-y in my app.

Good luck with that :-/ There are so many false-positives with virus scanners these days (I still don’t believe Android actually needs a virus scanner, but that’s a different story). It’s getting very hard to do anything that doesn’t possibly infringe on some policy or privacy statement. Plus some users are just stupid, and will complain regardless of what you do.

You could always stick with AdMob… it won’t get your app flagged as spam, but there’s always the odd chance that they’ll disable your account and not tell you why :wink:

Since there are no real viruses anti-virus applications for Android will give false positives just to stay alive… (I know, sounds like conspiracy, but I really dislike anti-viruses and never use them even on Windows, where a good firewall is enough.)

What does a virus on Android look like, anyway? I have not encountered things like you see on the PC, that really damage your computer. Maybe I have been lucky. Or are anti-virus software for Android just placebos?

Yeah, placing ads/social stuff/etc in your app requires some babysitting… you worry about permissions, sometimes 3rd party libraries cause crashes, sometimes you need to switch ad networks which leads to more coding and testing…

I don’t Admob yet because of their lack of customer service and people’s horror stories. David, I am sorry to hear about your Admob situation.

@Magnesus yeah some Windows anti-virus programs hog resources and are a pain to deal with, so I try to minimize the number of anti-virus software in my system.

There are no viruses for Android, since every program runs in its own sandbox, and can’t reproduce itself or infect other programs (something that viruses like to do).

There are programs that capture your data (phone number, email, contacts, etc…), but they are in no way viruses. In this case a firewall would be nice, but since most users are not tech users, they would allow all traffic anyway.

There is a nice firewall for Android - LBE Privacy Guard. Requires root though.

Air push is definitely passing phone numbers and email addresses to advertisers.
These can be noticed in comments of many apps. Here are few sample comments:

  1. but uninstalling app doesn’t stop the emails, must opt out of these sites individually,
  2. As soon as I installed and opened I got spammed. It’s emailing me and asking if I want to have sex with girls in my area.

Its shame companies are resorting these kind of practices and putting dev’s and end users in trouble.

Lets not abuse Android Platform that is making money for all of us.

And here I thought about using Airpush. I think I will settle for using Leadbolt AppWall as a interstitial (or maybe they have othes HTML interstitials? I could find ones).

That’s pretty shady. I wonder if this is perhaps a rogue advertiser in Airpush that they are not aware of? Could that be?
Anyone contacted their support about this?

It sounds very self-destructive to have this on your network!

Any link to backup your comments ? Also, any real confirmation they are getting spam from Airpush advertisers ? I’ve always got tons of spam about sex way before I had an Android phone. That’s why spam filters were invented in the first place.

What I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of users on the Internet trying to boycott Airpush, Leadbolt and others, simply because they don’t like notification ads. But they won’t succeed, since most people don’t give a damn.


I dont get any “do you want to have sex with…” ads. And I use 11 apps with leadbolt or AirPush in it.

I agree with @Androider on this one, is there any strong evidence that these advertisers got sensitive data from Airpush or it is a unsupported claim? Also we do not know for sure does Airpush forward data to advertisers. Again I agree with @Androider about notification ads because there is not something like “free lunch”. If you want to grow up as company you need to make money and you can not do that with crappy 0.1$ eCPM.

Why doesn’t someone just reverse the airpush sdk and find out once and for all ? … obviously someone in a country with laws that allow this.

  1. Airpush TOS dialog clearly states :

When you click on advertisements delivered by Airpush, you will typically be directed to a third party’s web page and we may pass certain of your information to the third parties operating or hosting these pages, including your email address, phone number and a list of the apps on your device.

  1. It was already posted in this forum that Airpush SDK reads phone number:
    Making Money with Android - Android Development and Marketing Forums

Guys I understand we want to make money but this is really shady practice.