Some thoughts on Android and iOS

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I have been mentioning it in the past to people in direct discussions, but I stumbled across an interesting article today:

https://www.mactechnews.de/news/article/Android-Selbst-ohne-Nutzung-uebermittelt-Google-340-Datensaetze-pro-Tag-mit-Nutzerdaten-170299.html

Even if this text is in German – it links to a study done in 2018 on data transmission in Android. Here’s the full whitepaper (in English). The net of the study is (and the German article) that Android seems to send about 350MB of your data back to google per month. 1/3 is your location data.

I keep having conversations with people that wonder why they get adds on something they recently spoke about, searched for or stopped in a shop – this is simply why.

There is one huge difference between iOS devices and android. When you buy an Apple phone, you basically pay for the hardware AND the software. When you buy an Android phone (or get one), you pay money for the hardware, the Software is perceived to be free. But in fact, you are paying: with your data! And you should be aware of
that.

My wife recently jumped into one of these conversations, that she had a discussion to look into some product and she then saw ads for it. As she is using the google apps on iOS (that is also stated at least in the article), google collects data that way as well. I pretty much stopped using native google apps on my devices now, but of course I do use google search and maps here and there. But I find to use it less and less as there are alternatives for search. VoWe had mentioned a few last week, with DuckDuckGo being pretty much the most known one.

Now, having said all of this, I keep hearing: “what do I care about my data privacy, I have nothing to hide”. What you forget on this statement is (as much as it is true), there is the concept of “Big Data” out there that is now able to connect in a short time various data bits into a bigger picture. One example from my own experience:

I was caught speeding (just a bit, but got a ticket). As I was pretty sure I had not been there at the given time, I was thinking how to be able to proof it. I remembered Google
location and checked my location profile for that day – just to find that I had been there at the given time and the ticket was valid. So, what I am trying to say: Any bit of data you are giving away can be a piece in a bigger puzzle that helps companies to understand your behavior patterns better and better.

I think everyone has noticed that when you go back to a website to book travel, very often the offers you wanted to get are gone the next time you log back in. Or are more
expensive. Companies are really good at this as you leave data every time you visit the website. With the data from google now they know pretty well if you are planning a trip (because you were searching on various sides) or if you are just window-shopping. In the first case they can for sure raise the price and make you pay more as you really want to buy…. Think about it.

 

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