Android Collects 20 Times More User Data than iOS, Reveals Study

Android collects 20 times more user data than iOS

User privacy has become an important topic of discussion in recent times. We all know that tech bigwigs, such as Google and Apple, collect user data to improve their products and offer us better services. However, what we do not know is that how much data do they collect from users. Well, as per a researcher, it seems like Android collects around 20 times more user data than iOS.

Douglas Leith, a researcher at the Trinity College in Ireland, recently conducted a study. In his study, he used a Google Pixel 2 running Android 10 and a jail-broken iPhone 8 running iOS 13.6.1 to find how much data does Android and iOS send to their respective parent companies, i.e., Google and Apple. He compared both platforms side-by-side and discovered that, although both OSes continuously send data to the companies, Android collects more amount of data from users to send them to Google than iOS.

As per the researcher, both the platforms start collecting data as soon as the users boot up the device. The data collection occurs even when the user is not logged in to the device or performs simple actions such as inserting a SIM card or browse the device setting screen. Moreover, Leith’s research states that both Android and iOS devices connect to their back-end servers every 4.5 minutes, even when they are idle.

Google collects 20 times more data than apple

Now, it is not just the OSes that send data to the servers. There are the system apps and pre-installed apps that also send data to the back-end servers. As per the researcher, in iOS, apps such as Safari, Siri, and iCloud send data to Apple’s servers automatically. On the other hand, Android apps like Google Docs, Google Messenger, the device clock, SafetyHub, and the Google Search Bar send data to the Mountain View giant.

Moreover, the researcher conducted the tests in different scenarios. So, on a startup test, the researcher found that Android sent around 1MB of data to Google. iOS, on the contrary, sent less data to Apple on startup that amounted to 53KB. The former also found to be sending 1MB worth of data to Google every 12 hours. While iOS sends around 52KB worth of data in the same timeframe.

Google has denied the findings of the researcher by saying that Leith used faulty methods to conduct the test. The company also stated that data collection is a core function of any internet-connected device.

On the other hand, Leith stated that the data collection is concerning for users as the collected data is linked to the users’ names, email addresses, payment card data, and other devices the user possesses. Furthermore, the continuous connection of the device reveals the IP address. As a result, companies always have the exact geographic locations of their users.

“Currently there are few, if any, realistic options for preventing this data sharing,” Leith wrote in a statement.

VIA Arstechnica
comment Comments 2
  • Bernhard says:

    @Lily: Do you feel it’s a good excuse for Google stealing data to say Facebook is doing the same (or worse)?
    Nobody is entitled to collect my personal data unless I explicitly allow him!
    I chose not to have a facebook account, not to use Whatsapp as a messenger, to deny cooky usage to all websites I visit, even renounce reading magazine articles if my personal data would be the price.
    I disabled all Google apps (except Google Play Services, because some important apps don’t function without), don’t use Playstore…
    So, why should I tolerate Google steal my data?

  • Lily says:

    Seriously? That’s his “study”? Everyone knows Google and Apple siphon data from devices.
    You just need to check your data usage when idle.
    The hilarious part is that the “amount of data” sent is characterized by Mb and Kb. Who is that fool? The size of the package doesn’t mean anything if he can’t say what’s being sent.
    The data collected by Google and Apple is probably nothing compared to the data collected by Facebook through its many apps from whatsapp to Instagram.
    You want to make a fun experiment? Try chatting to people on your whatsapp about wanting to take a vacation and see how long it takes for ads in all your devices focusing on travel.
    Now talk out loud about vacuum cleaners while using Instagram and watch the Roomba ads roll in.

Leave a Reply