According to a study, the size of data Android sends to Google is approximately 20 times more than iOS sends to Apple.
Whether you have an iPhone or an Android device; A lot of data is constantly sent to Apple or Google, including your location, phone number and local network details. So which of these operating systems may be sharing much more user data? To find the answer to this question, a researcher compared an iPhone and an Android device with various tools in terms of data collection. The result shows that both phones collect data at certain times of the day, but Android seems to collect 20 times more data than iOS and share it with Google, even when the device is idle and user data is refused to be shared.
Douglas Leith from Trinity College conducted the research we mentioned. According to the results shared by Leith, both iOS and Android frequently share telemetry data with their manufacturer’s server. Moreover, even when the phone is not in use and its privacy options are set not to share data, these transactions take place on average every 4 minutes. In addition, operating systems are not the only ones that send user data to companies such as Apple and Google. Douglas Leith says that the apps that come preinstalled in smartphones are just right for this job. With applications pre-installed on smartphones, services can communicate with Google and Apple servers and share user data even when they are never used. While these applications and services are Siri, Safari, iCloud in iOS; It is known as Chrome, Youtube, Google Documents, Google Search, Google Messenger on Android.
Douglas Leith says Android stands out when it comes to data collection, in a statement he is relevant to his research. The main reason for this is the size of the data collected on the Android side. Because, while a smartphone is idle, Android sends about 1 MB of data to Google every 12 hours; iOS sends approximately 52 KB of data to Apple every 12 hours. If we calculate this on a national basis, Android collects 1.3 TB of data every 12 hours from its users in the USA, but Apple collects 5.8 GB of data from its users in the USA every 12 hours. The obvious difference made Google the target of arrows.
Response from Google to Research
Google disputed Douglas Leith’s findings, saying that flawed methods were used to measure data collected by each operating system. The company also argued that data collection is the core function of any device connected to the internet.
“We identified Douglas Leith’s flaws in the methodology of measuring data volume, and disagreed with research claims that an Android device shares 20 times more data than an iPhone. According to our study on the subject as Google, these findings are largely inaccurate, and we need to share with the public the concern that the methods used to measure the data size cause in consumers. However, we contacted Douglas Leith before that.
This research basically summarizes how smartphones work. It regularly sends some data about vehicle components, safety conditions and service schedules in modern cars to auto manufacturers. Cell phones work in similar ways. This report; It includes communication findings that help us understand that iOS or Android software is up to date, services are functioning properly, and phones are working efficiently. ”
A Google spokesperson also clearly states that it is not entirely possible for “users to refuse to share their data”, which is mentioned in the study, as well as this statement. Because some data that are required to be shared are necessary for the healthy operation of the smartphone. For example, telemetry information collected by the Device Configuration Service must be used to update and patch the operating system.
Apple side also reacted to Douglas Leith’s research. The spokesperson made a statement stating that Apple provides users with transparency and control over the personal information it collects and that some things were misunderstood in the report.
After the manufacturers’ comments on the issue, Douglas Leith said that data collection by both operating systems has reached scary proportions and that it is very limited to prevent it. What do you think about technology giants going through a turbulent process related to user privacy?