Tim Cook has been very vocal about the data privacy of Apple ecosystem users and has multiple times mentioned that when you use an Apple device, you are not the product. Whereas, things seem to be a bit different with Google.
A newly released report “Google Data Collection” claims that Google collects 10 times more data on an inactive Android device than Apple on iOS devices. This is surprising, to say the least.
The report finds that on an inactive Android device with Chrome browser opened in the background, 340 times location information was being sent to Google in 24 hours. On an inactive iOS device, Google was not able to collect any noticeable chunk of data through Safari browser. In case of an idle Android running Chrome, 50 times more requests were sent to Google than an idle iPhone running Safari.
This is a stark difference between the number of requests and data collection that happens in Android vs iOS device. The research also takes a look at how anonymous information collected by Google can then be merged with the information acquired by third-party applications to make a wholesome user profile and then target that user in plenty of ways.
This paper comes right after the controversy that Google continued to track the location of its users even when the location settings are off. Google, earlier this year, was caught saving location data of its users without their consent. Once the media started writing about it, Google instantly made a statement that this happened only in year 2018 and an update is coming very soon to fix non-consensual data collection. A lawsuit has been filed against Google on account of privacy breach.
On the other hand, with Apple, things are different. It does collect user data but that data is randomized and used by Apple for improving its own services like Siri, Maps and Search. So at least the users can rest assured that the data is not shared with any third party developers.
For Google, you are the product and they ought to use you to monetize their business.
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