Google Collects 20 Times More Data on Android Than Apple Does on iPhone

A new report, based on the research done by computer scientists at Trinity, claims that Google collects up to 20 times more data from Android users compared to the data Apple collects from iPhone and iOS users.

Apple, so far, has been proud of its privacy claims. The company vouches for user privacy, which can be seen with privacy features introduced in iOS 14. Once, at a CES event where Apple rarely makes an appearance, the company put up a billboard highlighting iPhone’s privacy.

The researcher claims that the study was thoroughly conducted, meaning that Douglas looked at the data being transferred to Apple and Google when a user wasn’t logged in and even when the phone was sitting idle. The researcher even looked at the information transmitted when a user had explicitly asked the operating systems not to share their data.

“When idle, Android sends roughly 1MB of data to Google every 12 hours, compared with iOS sending Apple about 52KB over the same period. In the US alone, Android collectively gathers about 1.3TB of data every 12 hours. During the same period, iOS collects about 5.8GB.”

He says that even when the phones are sitting idle, each device connects to its back-end server on average every 4.5 minutes. And it wasn’t just the operating systems sending data to the two companies. Even the pre-installed apps shared data with Google and Apple.

iOS automatically shares data collected from Siri, Safari, and iCloud with Apple. In contrast, Android shared data collected from Chrome, YouTube, Google Docs, Safetyhub, Google Messenger, the device clock, and the search bar with Google.

Leith says he used a jailbroken iPhone 8 running iOS 13.6.1 and a Google Pixel 2 running Android 10 for this research. Even though the researcher isn’t using the latest, and even official, operating systems from the two companies, it says a lot about how they handle users’ data.

Google even reached out to ArsTechnica about the report, saying the research had ‘flaws’ and disagreed with the researcher’s claim. “According to our research, these findings are off by order of magnitude, and we shared our methodology concerns with the researcher before publication,” said Google in a statement.

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Tyson Houlding
Tyson Houlding is a 28-year-old associate at a law firm who enjoys walking, writing, and learning new languages. He is creative and bright, but can also be very unfriendly and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian who defines himself as straight. He has a post-graduate degree in law.