Last Year's Comments From Steve Jobs and Andy Rubin on Privacy

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In the wake of a highly-publicized disclosure last week regarding iOS location tracking and discussion of similar activity found on Android-based devices, All Things Digital has gone back and cut together a video clip of comments from Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Google mobile boss Andy Rubin on privacy to remind readers what key executives have said about the issue in the recent past. Jobs' interview took place at the D8 Conference last June, while Rubin's took place at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference back in December.
    Rubin's comments focused on the basic Android operating system, reporting that there is nothing in that code that sends data back to Google. But obviously Google's own services and other extensions built on top of Android could report such information given the touted open source nature of the platform.
    We reported yesterday on an apparent email response from Steve Jobs to a user claiming that Apple does not track users, but Apple has yet to issue a more thorough response in the face of increasing questions from users and inquiries from government representatives and agencies in a number of countries.

    Article Link: Last Year's Comments From Steve Jobs and Andy Rubin on Privacy
  2. macthetiger85 macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2007
    Baton Rouge, LA
    very different in many ways, Jobs says we make sure others ask but this doesn't answer today's question of does Apple get it and what do they do with it. Also, I'm a little afraid of Rubin's response "to my knowledge there is none but I wouldn't be for it" kind of a freaky thing to get.

    We'll find out sooner or later about Apple with the lawsuits and the probe from law makers.
  3. shartypants macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2010
    Andy Rubin sounds very wishy washy. Steve Jobs is very clear about it.
  4. ciTiger macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2011
    Portugal (Porto)
    The real problem is that just because they say something it doesn't actually mean they do it... Not with some "variations" in most cases... And there's a lot of room for variations in this case...
  5. iMacx macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2011
    Hmmm, saying that he doesn't know of any information being collected isn't very convincing. Whereas Jobs' and iOS are very clear cut of their user's privacy.
  6. ImageWrangler macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2007
    upstate New York
    Sad thing is either way people have made up their mind about it. If they think Apple is the bad guy here, they won't be dissuaded, if they think Google is saints despite tracking Google searches you do with some 100 cookies they'll believe it. It's sadly like the birthers, as much evidence, bi-partisan at that, comes to light, people will be ignorant because when you try to beat an idiot with logic and reason they'll drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.
  7. Master Atrus macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2003
    Android Operating System

    My problem with the video was not the careful choice of the words "Android Operating System." I have an HTC MyTouch 4g and the first thing it tells me is that I need a Google Account and that it can send "anonymous" information back to Google. Then within each Google Application that you install the permissions of the App say the same thing. So yes, I can opt out of all of those, but to say that the Android Operating System doesn't collect data is cherry picking. The Android OS comes with Google Applications that do collect data.

    I have never assumed though that on a GPS enabled smartphone that my location is private (ever watched any TV show and you'll know that), but I believe that in this case, it was on oversight on Apple's part and now it is going to have to pay the price for that oversight. Sad, but true.
  8. parapup macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    Yeah says a person who doesn't understand how Android's model works, obviously. Do you expect Andy and Google to Audit all gazillion different phones and tablets and cars and refrigerators running Android to guarantee you they don't collect data?

    He was as clear as it can get - the source is out there - go check out, what I put out doesn't collect and send any data to Google. He also said he wouldn't agree with anyone doing otherwise - meaning the Google partners are expected to be privacy conscious like Google is. And why not - you think people will not sue the hell out of Samsung/Motorola/Sony if they found their phones violate their privacy?
  9. nostaws macrumors 6502


    Jan 14, 2006
    I am not excited about this information being stored. However, until there is proof that the data actually gets sent back to Apple, I think Apple gets a temporary pass on this. But they are going to need to prove it in the media.

    Using my iPhone and iPad, it is obvious that some information about my location gets stored. I just wish that the cache would be cleaned every few days or something. Heck, if its location can't be stored how am I going to use the find me feature.

    Also cell phone data is being used to also give traffic flow data on sites like google maps:
  10. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    This is a good and important distinction, that the iPhone is storing the data but not sending it to anyone.

    It brings to mind the question of why does the iPhone hold onto the location data for years? If it's not being sent to anyone else, then it means its collecting it for on-device services. I can't think of anything the iPhone does that requires it to know every location you've ever used it in all the time you've owned it. Hell, the only thing I can think of is that Maps might want to know your last known location so that it knows what to show on start up, in the event of crash or something that requires Maps to start cold.
  11. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    Rubin was a developer, so he knows there could be a bug somewhere, or leftover debug code like Google had in their collection trucks. Developers always hedge their bets when answering a question like that.
  12. inkswamp macrumors 68030


    Jan 26, 2003
    Rubin's comments about what Google collects/allows come off surprisingly evasive, and the way he keeps hiding behind "well, it's open source" is an annoying red herring (surprised they didn't call him out for that.)

    Jobs' comments are a lot more definite and reassuring but only truthful as long as it's shown that Apple isn't collecting location info from the iPhone database. If Apple is collecting that info then he's full of crap.
  13. coder12 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2010
    Spoken like a true wo/man ^^ :)

    I can't wait to see what comes out of this, I'm gonna go get my popcorn and watch things unfold...
  14. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    My back is wet. It must be raining.

    Yes, I noticed that too. Rubin was asked what data is Google collecting from Android users. He then responded, we are not keeping track of every app you download, "and stuff like that."

    What does that mean?
  15. caspersoong macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2011
    This video has just ensured that I won't buy an Android phone. Ever. They should have trained Andy Rubin to lie convincingly.
  16. kiljoy616 macrumors 68000


    Apr 17, 2008
    Questioning motive.

    I guess the question is what would they get out of it, maybe google but apple gets nothing out of it the information would not be that valuable to apple and the pr is a nightmare. that is not to say that they may not be doing something that of course we know but considering the fanfare around apple products its not like any of this will not be found out after some time.

    to me this I think is going to be taken care in the next revision but it is nice to know there are people out there keeping an eye for stuff like this. :)
  17. Epic Xbox Revie macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    Jun 15, 2010
    Washington, D.C.
  18. kdarling, Apr 27, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011

    kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    Perhaps he was talking about the way that Apple keeps track of every song or app or video we download via iTunes. They use that information to sell iAds by our location, age, race, sex, income, political and sexual orientation derived from what we buy, etc.

    Of course, Google is no saint either.

    I'm glad there are volunteer groups that monitor what our devices do. It's like Reagan with the USSR: "Trust, but verify" :)

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