Android smartphones collect ten times more data than iOS phones, study reveals
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Vanderbilt University in Nashville claims Android smartphones are collecting almost ten times more data than Apple iOS handsets.
The study, conducted by university professor Douglas C. Schmidt, analysed both the active and passive ways in which Google collects data on its users, noting that passive collection methods have often been overlooked in similar previous studies.
Such data-collection methods include the use of platforms such as Android and Chrome, apps such as Search, YouTube and Maps, along with publisher tools such as Google Analytics and AdSense.
Researchers found the idle Android phone with Chrome active in the background sent location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period, a rate significantly higher when compared to Apple iOS.
However, according to online tech site Mashable, Google has disputed the study, saying it contains widely misleading information.
A Google spokesperson asserted via email: “The company doesn’t join activity done while signed-out of Google accounts with a user’s Google account information.”
In response, Schmidt spoke about Google’s statement regarding the accuracy of his work.
“It’s not clear what Google means by ‘wildly misleading information,’ so without more details about what information is ‘wildly misleading’ it’s not possible to provide a meaningful response,” he wrote.
“I'm happy to provide responses to specific concerns raised by Google,” he added.
Last month, an investigation by the Associated Press (AP) found that many Google-run services continue to store location data, even when the user picks a privacy setting that explicitly says that it will prevent Google from collecting and storing this data.
Earlier this year, an advocacy group took legal action against Google on behalf of UK iPhone users, arguing that the company illegally collected data from their iPhones while they used Apple’s Safari browser.