Today, the Exodus Privacy non-profit association published detailed reports about trackers that are embedded in Android applications. Thanks to their hard work, we were shocked to read that they had also discovered three trackers within the official Qwant mobile application for Android. Two were from Google (Crashlytics and DoubleClick), a third one was from Shibsted. We immediately locked our teams in the office and began an investigation to understand how it was possible.
We quickly determined that these trackers had been secretly added by third party services that were accessible in accessory parts of the app. They were not originally included. But we failed to detect these additions, and we sincerly apologize. It should not have happened.
Two hours later we immediately withdrew the application from the Android marketplace, and replaced it with a brand new application that does not include any of these third party services. We now control 100% of our application with open source software. Nothing will now be included without us knowing. The source code is available on our Github repository. The updated Exodus Privacy report confirms Qwant has zero tracker.
Our app is now a complete, fast and efficient browser based on source code from Mozilla, with protection against tracking activated by default. The same application will be available on iOS devices very soon. If you have installed our app on Android devices, please update now:
We want to thank Exodus Privacy for their effort, and we intend to support their work in the future. They will help make a safer mobile environment, where no tracker can be added without anyone noticing.