Idle Android Devices Send 10x Data to Google Than Idle iOS Devices to Apple

Presented with limited commercial interruption by:


Among several findings, Schmidt’s experiments found that an idle Android phone with Chrome web browser active in the background communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period. An equivalent experiment found that on an iOS device with Safari open but not Chrome, Google could not collect any appreciable data unless a user was interacting with the device.

I can’t say I’m surprised by this. Google and Apple take substantially different positions on the whole concept of collecting data on its users and their devices. Apple loves their device telemetry, for sure, don’t get me wrong.

Even more than reinforcing how Google operates vs. Apple, it’s also telling the stark differences between Android and iOS on the most fundamental level. Android will let you (an app developer) get away with just about anything under the guise of whatever important permissions your app needs. When you’re Google, you can get away with even more and you don’t even need to ask.