Is it true that Incognito App contains 3 x Google Trackers in the code?

Hi Incognito Community & Dev Team,

I’m in the process of migrating to a GrapheneOS mobile phone (a de-Googled phone) and I was very happy to see that Incognito provided a link to install the .apk file :+1:

After downloading I decided to scan the latest v5.1.0.apk thru an app called “ClassyShark3xodus” (which detects all trackers within .apk file).

Much to my surprise the following 3 trackers were found:

  1. Google CrashLytics
  2. Google AdMob (Mobile Advertising Tracker)
  3. Google Firebase Analytics (Google Web Analytics for Mobile Apps)

I thought I’d highlight this because being a “Privacy 1st” network, I find it rather alarming that in the background whilst we are all using the app, these trackers will gathering data such as usage, advertising and crash data and sending it to Google.

Can someone on the dev team acknowledge that this is the case?
Maybe this was an oversight or perhaps it is intentional and essential, please clarify.

Is anyone else concerned about this?

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Hi @Linnovations,

Thank you for raising the problem. We are doing code review and seeing if we can remove the google-service in the .apk build.
Will keep you update on this.

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Thanks for the reply @khanhj and good to hear that you will be doing the code review.

May I strongly recommend that Incognito published their .APK on the trusted F-Droid - https://f-droid.org (the leading alternative to Google Play store).

This will help grow adoption amongst many privacy concious folks that are in the "de-Google " process.

Also, if Incognito is looking for an alternative to Google Analytics that is privacy focussed, check out Matomo (https://github.com/matomo-org/matomo) which is privacy friendly, self-hosted and FOSS.

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@Linnovations,

We will consider hosting the .apk on f-droid.org.
Can you please help us to test the pre-release build?

We have removed all google-services list above.

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Hi @khanhj, I will download the .APK on run it through ClassyShark tool on my de-Googled phone and will share the results on this thread. Thx.

Hey @khanhj, excellent news… Your latest pre-release build checked out perfect with ClassyShark3xodus

The report shows Zero trackers.

Many thanks for removing the Google tracking code.

Please let me know when the .APK has been submitted and available on F-Droid and I will be happy to check and test downloading it from that marketplace?

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@Linnovations,

Unfortunately, the development team don’t have resources to fully test this build at the moment, it may postpone to the end of April. We need to test this build before listing on F-Droid. I tried several functions myself, at least it not crash :slight_smile: , can you help us to test it? just import a privatekey with small amount PRV/Token to shield, send, trade

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Hi @khanhj, I will devote some time to running this .apk and will share with you any issues I find.

Should I provide bugs/issues as Comments on this post?

Hey @khanhj,

I’m running this .apk on a de-Googled phone that has the latest stable release of GrapheneOS - https://grapheneos.org/releases#bramble-stable
installed on a Google Pixel 4a (5G) hardware.

I have successfully installed the .apk using the android package installer on my device.

Here is what I am experiencing…

As soon as I tap on the Incognito App Icon to open, the app refreshes the screen with a blank white page then the app seems to be minimised and I’m returned to my screen with the Incongito app icon listed.

When I tap the icon to show all the apps that are running, I noticed that the Incognito app is still running. When I tap to enter the incognito app, I get the same result, a brief white screen flashes then the app minimizes from view.

If you need any further details or need me to install any “App Debugging Tools” let me know. I want to help you test this .APK

Please let me know when your Dev team has resolved this issue and I will continue my testing on the next version of the .apk

Thanks.

1 Like

Have you tried kill the app and relaunch? can you help to record the screen and show us the problem
I test this .apk on Genymotion, without installing google-apps, i still able to use most functions.
Anyway i will ask Devs team what else need to debug

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I just got my Google Pixel 6 last night and installed GrapheneOS using the web installer https://grapheneos.org/install/web. I am getting the exact same results Linnovations

I have tried installing the GrapheneOS
Google Services Framework (Mirror)
Google Play Store (Mirror)
Google Play Store services (Mirror)

Do I need to sign into Play store for Incognito to work?

khanhj I have tried force stopping the app. If I could be fast enough to take a screen shot all it would be is a white screen with the black circle in it for a second before it goes back to the home screen.

I would rather not have to choose between Incognito and being
de-Googled. I thought they would go hand in hand.

If there is anything else I can try or send please let me know.

Thanks

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Hello @khanhj,

First of all, can you please increase the maximum file size restrictions on this server as I could not upload my mp4 video even though it was under the 4096 KB limit?

I’ve uploaded the video to YouTube which illustrate the issue I am experiencing on my GrapheneOS phone.

FYI, I suspect the reason why your Genymotion phone worked is because it still has Google software components installed (as they are embedded in Google’s version of stock Android). These components are available to the Incognito App even though you did not install any Google Apps.

GrapheneOS and other de-Googled OS have been built off the Open Source version of Android that does not have any “Google” components embedded in the OS. I hope that makes sense.

So what I’m suspecting is happening (and your devs can look into the Incognito’s code base) the Incognito App is making some calls to Google Android components. For example they may have missed a line in the code around Google Firebase that is trying to call a component in Google’s version of Android. Because this component is not available in GrapheneOS, Incognito just sits in the background just waiting for a response. Btw, I’m not a developer so I am only guessing.

Thanks for passing this info on to the developers.

Let me know how I can be of further help.

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When I look at the Incognito App in the Aurora Store it shows that it has 4 trackers. The three that Linnovations mentioned and one called AppsFlyer.

What is the purpose of this tracker?
I believe this is the website https://www.appsflyer.com/

I don’t believe that the first three trackers are the issue of the app not working as they are also required for Apps like Spotify and I can use the Google Mirror Apps and Spotify works just fine on GrapheneOS.

Is AppsFlyer the reason the Incognito App will not function?
I would prefer that Incognito have NO trackers like ProtonMail.

Thanks

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Hi everyone,

The team will working on the build to remove all tracker on Incognito Wallet. While it require Grapheneos it would take time for us to setup and debug. I’m thinking about telegram group so we can quick discuss and ask you guys for help.

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Hey @Nehor,

Nice to meet a fellow GrapheneOS user/tester in this community :smile:

I’ve never used the Aurora app store as I’ve only ever downloaded apps to my GrapheneOS phone via F-Droid.

I 100% agree with what Nehor has said - the Incognito app should not have any trackers if Incognito Network is to remain true to it’s mission of being a “Privacy First” project.

@khanhj, I will be happy to continue assisting with testing the Incognito App on my GrapheneOS phone. Once your Dev team has a new version with trackers removed and a Telegram channel setup let us know and we’ll continue the testing there.

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I would also be happy to test on LineageOS. I prefer to use F-Droid as well. I downloaded the APK from the website and I do get an error at startup, but so far it has not affected functionality. I would definitely be interested in testing a completely de-googled version of the app.

@Linnovations since I just barely switched playing with LineageOS I’m curious what your thoughts are on the difference between that and GrapheneOS. I went with LOS just because it had a very longstanding reputation. I had considered GOS though.

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Hi @fiend138, I did quite a bit of research before going with GrapheneOS but one of the main reasons I went with GrapheneOS was because my handset with a Google Pixel 4a and the GrapheneOS is optimised to utilise the secure element (Titan chip) on the Google phones. There are also a number of other privacy feature built in to the OS such as:

  • App Sandboxing
  • Auto-purge of Logs after 10 days
  • Disallowing persistent cookies

But another huge factor in my decision making was the fact that Edward Snowden’s endorsement of GrapheneOS on several occasions -

(screen shot of tweet below - Aug 2021)
Snowden-Tweet-Aug2021

and

(screen shot of tweet below - Feb 2022)
Snowden-Tweet-Feb2022

If you want to learn more, I highly recommend watching this video by Naomi Brockwell (an awesome blockchain + privacy advocate). She helped me learn a lot about de-Googled phones and GrapheneOS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIFBN390clQ

Hey @Jared , speaking about Naomi Brockwell (you may already follow her), can you let the growth team they should get in touch with her? She is Pro-Bitcoin and Blockchain, but also Pro-privacy. She has 120K subscribers on YT and has interviewed Ed Snowden on several occasions.

Here’s An Idea: The Growth Team may want to send her some info about Incognito Network and perhaps send her a pNode (if you have a spare one lying round). I think she would be a huge fan of the project and this could lead to some free promotion later down the line. Food for thought.

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Thanks @Linnovations, sent you a PM so we can discuss this further.

Same phone I’m using. I’ll look into GrapheneOS more. TY! @Jared I’d be happy to test on non Google android if you need people. LMK.

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Hi @khanhj, Can you please provide an update on an ETA for a new version of the Incogntio APK so we can continue testing on our de-Googled phones?

I’m able to continue testing of the app on a stock GrapheneOS installation.
Thank You.