Google Pixel collects 20 times more data than iPhone, study says

Google Pixel collects 20 times more data than iPhone   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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During first 10 minutes of startup, Pixel handset sends about a megabyte of data to Google. But iPhone sends only 42KB of data to Apple when the phone boots up, according to a study by Trinity College Dublin.

Both iOS and Android share data with Apple and Google respectively every 4.5 minutes on an average, even when the handset is idle, minimally configured or the user has opted out of this.

Private information like the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of the phone, SIM serial number, handset phone number are also shared with Apple and Google.

The IMEI is an unique identification number for the handset that can be used to block it.

iOS sends the MAC addresses and GPS location of even the nearby devices like other handsets and the home gateway, to Apple.

This can allow linking of devices in the same network like in the same household, office or shop.

What can be the problems ?

The collection of data by the two tech giants raises some concerns as the device data can be linked to other data sources. Once a user logs in, the device data will get linked to user's personal details like name, email, credit card.

It can also link other devices owned by the user and fetch information like shopping and web browsing history.

The study also observed some of the pre-installed apps or services to make network connections, despite never being opened.

On iOS these include Siri, Safari and iCloud while on Android these include Youtube, Chrome, Google Docs, Safetyhub, Google Messaging, the Clock and the Google Search Bar.

Also Read | Study finds several mobile apps leak crucial user data

Every time a handset connects with a back-end server it reveals the handset IP address, allowing Apple and Google to track the user's location.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 5:12:04 PM |

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