Concern for privacy is growing among users. Now a survey by Trinity College Dublin has indicated that Apple provides more security for its users in this regard, where the iPhone collects fewer data compared to Android phones.
The study used Pixel phones to assess how much information the smartphones sent to Google. The result was that both Apple and Google phones shared data with their manufacturers every 4 ½ minutes, even though they were in standby mode.
The study was published by Professor Doug Leith recorded that Google phones sent 1 MB of data in the period mentioned, while Apple smartphones sent only 52 KB.
Among the data collected is information about chips and operators used, device serial number, IMEI, WiFi MAC address, telephone number, and more information.
Despite Apple collecting less data, Leith was disappointed with the result, saying that cell phones should not collect such information when used as regular phones, just to receive and make calls.
However, in this study we found that Apple and Google collect a wealth of information in precisely this situation. It seems excessive, and it is difficult to see why it is necessary.
He further emphasizes that this is not in keeping with Apple’s most recent speeches, which included a function that blocks data collection by apps on iOS 14. According to the professor, Apple not only collects data from the connected device, but also from all the others collected to it.
The WiFi MAC address identifies a device on a WiFi network and, for example, uniquely identifies your home router, coffee hotspot or office network. This means that Apple can potentially track which people are close, as well as when and where. This is very worrying.
Most worrying, according to Leith, is that these users cannot choose not to participate in this collection of information, which can be understood as an invasion of privacy.
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Apple has not commented on the statements. Google said that these actions are aimed at the safety of its customers. In a statement to The Irish Times, the company said:
This research describes how smartphones work. Modern cars regularly send basic data about vehicle components, their safety status and service hours to car manufacturers, and cell phones work in very similar ways. This report details these communications, which help to ensure that the iOS or Android software is up to date, the services are working as planned and that the phone is safe and functioning efficiently.