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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple last week unveiled a new Sign In with Apple option, offering up a convenient, privacy-focused alternative to sign-in options from companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

Apple collects no data and provides little data to the apps and websites you use with the feature, and it even offers an option to keep your email safe. In an interview with The Verge, Google product management director Mark Risher, who oversees Google's secure sign in tool, shared his thoughts on Apple's new feature.


Risher says that Google's own tool is not as data hungry as it was made out to be, and that it's not used for advertising or re-targeting. "There was a bunch of innuendo wrapped around the release that suggested that only one of them is pure and the rest of them are kind of corrupt, and obviously I don't like that," he said.

The only moment logged is the moment of authentication, according to Risher, info that's not distributed anywhere. Risher also suggested Apple's feature is more invasive because it will be logging emails received from companies when the email obscuring feature is used. "We'll see how the details work out," he said.

Risher went on to explain that Google tries to "set a very high bar" but is judged by the "worst behavior" in the Android ecosystem. He said the innuendo from Apple that Google's tool is less privacy focused "was a little annoying" because Google is "trying to really hold [itself] to a high standard."

Ultimately, Risher said that he believes the technology will make people safer.
I honestly do think this technology will be better for the internet and will make people much, much safer. Even if they're clicking our competitors button when they're logging into sites, that's still way better than typing in a bespoke username and password, or more commonly, a recycled username and password.
Risher likened log-in protection offered by Google and Apple to storing money in a bank to alleviate fears people might have about having all of their login data handled by a single company like Apple or Google.
People often push back against the federated model, saying we're putting all our eggs into one basket. It sort of rolls off the tongue, but I think it's the wrong metaphor. A better metaphor might be a bank. There are two ways to store your hundred dollars: you could spread it around the house, putting one dollar in each drawer, and some under your mattress and all of that. Or you could put it in a bank, which is one basket, but it's a basket that is protected by 12-inch thick steel doors. That seems like the better option!
Risher's full interview with is available on The Verge website and is worth checking out, but Google today is also making its own privacy-focused feature announcement for iOS users - the ability to use an Android smartphone as a two-factor verification key for logging into Google accounts.

Starting today, iPhone and iPad users with an Android smartphone can use the Android security key feature to verify their logins to Google accounts from the Android device.


The feature utilizes Google's Smart Lock App as part of a two-step verification system designed to keep Google accounts safer. After the security key feature is added to an Android device, it can be set up to pair with the iPhone to confirm logins over Bluetooth.

Article Link: Google Login Chief Lauds Apple Sign In as 'Better for the Internet,' Says Google's Sign In Feature Doesn't Collect Data Either
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macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2016
California, USA
...”The only moment logged [by Google] is the moment of authentication, according to Risher, info that's not distributed anywhere.”

Yes, but that means they log when you log in, how often you log in, and possibly where on a map you logged in. It’s pretty easy with that data to pick up on user habits, but you know nothing to see here.
...”Risher went on to explain that Google tries to "set a very high bar" but is judged by the ‘worst behavior’ in the Android ecosystem. He said the innuendo from Apple that Google's tool is less privacy focused ‘was a little annoying’ because Google is ‘trying to really hold [itself] to a high standard.’”

Well they could’ve spared themselves the *annoyance* by, you know, engaging in more moral policies that would not have left users with the perception that Google may not be the most trustworthy.
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macrumors 68000
Feb 2, 2009
I understand him being upset. I would be too in his situation. But he needs to understand when you've been caught with your hand in the cookie jar, over and over and over and over and over, people aren't really going to trust you going forward. Also, it's Google. Just because they're not using that data today doesn't give me confidence that they won't at some future point. Sucky position to be in, but surely he must understand why.


macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2014
There are hundreds of things that Apple Google and Facebook (and even Amazon) could go after each other, privacy wise, oauth/federated authentication is not one of them. Apple would not offer federated auth if others weren't as well. Despite privacy implications, oauth has prevented numerous users by removing a credential set that would have otherwise been taken in a breach of an ill designed web app.

At the very least, why not call out facebook instead, where the app in question is usually granted access to your friends list in order to use your facebook login.


macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2018
When you select that you want to use Google sign in there's an interim step where they show the information that will be shared with the company you'd be signing it via Google. I've noticed the type of information shared can vary. I've been really uncomfortable with some of them and halted the signup.


macrumors member
Nov 11, 2008
Austin, TX
When monetizing customers personal information is exactly what your developers want (the product is not the app, the product is YOU), then the more you make it possible for your customers to hand over all your information, the more you differentiate yourself as the "environment" to program in.

Google could say "Hey, I know you could take advantage of all of this lose code, to track your users, get access to their microphones and cameras, look through their pictures, and know their location. And while we recognize that is super valuable, we don't recommend you use it in any way to monetize it without the user saying "accept"

Google didn't give away your information. You did. They just don't close the door to make sure that you have an option to not give away information.


Feb 7, 2019
Honestly I am inclined to believe Google here. It would not be the first time nor the last time Apple twisted the truth big time for their own game.

The one change I would like is Google to add in the random email address. Mostly so I can see who the offender is and the proceed to block it.


macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
I think right here, right now, this guy is probably correct. However, we know that the Google DNA is to sell their soul for more money.

The problem is that next year or whenever when they need more money, they'll find a way to mine your google login.

It will start with some simple tracking to improve security, to protect the children, or to support law enforcement. Then when no one is looking they'll start selling it. When a company has no morals, they have no morals. Now I am not confused enough to believe that Apple has the canonical definition of morality, but they are at least one step above Google, who is a bunch of steps above facebook.


Sep 13, 2018
Apple's marketing works. So many are fooled.

It has to do with core philosophies not marketing.

Google gives you all of these free services, sells no real products (Nest now and some pixels), so how are they worth billions and where does their cash come from? Selling data as they are in the ad and search business. Even the huge ad business needs user metrics to know who to target.

Apple's cashflow was mostly from hardware and now is split with services like TV and icloud. Apple doesnt need to collect data they arent in the data or search engine business.
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