Conducted by academic researcher Douglas Leith of Trinity College in Ireland and already contested by Google due to the methods used, the study looked at both operating systems. The conclusions are worrying, not surprising.
Android collects and sends 20 times more data than iOS
The investor points out that immediately after taking the phone out of the box and making the first boot, the equipment’s first start-up, it starts sending information to the respective parent houses. Whether for Google or Apple, both do.
This communication occurs on average every 4-5 minutes even though Android and iOS devices are in standby.
This was the first conclusion pointed out by Leith. Even with minimal phone configuration, both Android and iOS devices collect user information and send it to their headquarters. This without using the phone.
More worrying is the second finding found by the investigator. Android and iOS phones / tablets collect and send to Google and Apple, respectively, various data and identifiers of the devices and their user. To know:
- Equipment IMEI
- Device serial number
- SIM card serial number
We emphasize that this information is sent to the technology companies even if the user has refused to share it.
Google collects more information than Apple on its iPhone and iPad
The “insatiable appetite” for information reaches alarming volumes on Android. When comparing this phenomenon in the Android and iOS hemispheres in various stages and scenarios with mobile devices, Leith reveals the amount of data collected by companies.
Android devices collect about 3.6 MB in data that they then send to Google. In contrast, Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad, collect about 42 kb information they send to the Cupertino giant.
Leith tested this information collection and upload on different scenarios, namely:
- Immediately after a Factory Reset
- With and without SIM card
- When the device was in standby
- When the Settings screen was displayed
- When location was enabled / disabled
- When the user registered in the predefined application store
- Other scenarios
The tests were carried out on a Google Pixel 2 smartphone with the Android 10 operating system and on an iPhone 8 with the iOS 13.6.1 operating system. Furthermore, the iPhone had permissions to jailbreak as exploit Checkm8.
The insatiable appetite for information
When scaling your measurements for all Android and iOS devices active in the United States of America, the metrics are impressive. Google will collect about 1.3 TB of information every 12 hours, While iOS collects 5.8 GB.
However, Google has already responded to the study by refuting its conclusions. Speaking to the publication Ars Technica, the technological giant questions the methods used by the researcher.
“According to our research, these conclusions are quite wrong as far as magnitude is concerned. We have already expressed our concern with the methodology used with the researcher before the publication of the study “, points to Google.
The study can be consulted through the respective academic portal, in PDF format.
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