Mobile OSs Possible switch to Android, privacy concerns while a heavy Google user?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by MartijnHK, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. MartijnHK macrumors newbie

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    Apr 18, 2015
    Location:
    Delft, The Netherlands
    #1
    Hi all,

    I maybe considering a switch to Android. Currently I am a iPhone 6+ user, and I kind of think that it is time to switch to a new phone. Long time, I only considered the 8+ to be my next phone. I can get that one at Amazon in the EU for 730 Euros. While I also see that there a lots of interesting mid-range Android phones being released (such as the new Nokia 7.1, 350 Euros excl €50 cashback), that is tempting me to move to Android. Otherwise I am satisfied with iOS (and for higher-end prices I would prefer Apple, e.g. iPhone 8/XR > Pixel 3). Friends tell me Android much improved after I last tried it (2013-2015, before switching back to Apple).

    However, the major point I always read is privacy is much worse. Apple cares about your privacy, Cook saying it is human right etc. I really like that, however, I am wondering as I already am a heavy Google services user if switching to Android really makes a privacy difference? I can't find a proper document/website explaining this. For example I use:
    - Gmail
    - Google Search
    - Google Calendar
    - Google Maps or Waze (owned by Google) when navigating
    - Google Drive for documents I would like to use on multiple devices
    And most of all Google Chrome for my browsing on my Windows pc's, logged in to my account. On iPhone/iPad I use the standard Safari.

    The more I look at this list, the more I realise that Google already knows like nearly everything. Does switching to Android actually makes it worse? Is there more information about this use case out somewhere?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. timeconsumer macrumors 68000

    timeconsumer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Portland
    #2
    Since you’re already using Google services, it’s likely not going to matter. However, when you use an Android phone, Google will know what other apps you have installed on your phone and a time stamp of when you use them. They won’t know what you do once you’re in the app though. They will probably also gain better location history for you.

    That information will be available here: https://myactivity.google.com/

    Apple probably has the same information on you. The thing about Apple is that Tim Cook indicates they are all about privacy, but Apple is such a closed system that all you can do is take their word for it. Whereas with Google you know exactly that they are collecting as much data as possible.

    Since you’re already choosing to give Google data on you, I don’t think using an Android phone at this point will give Google any more information than they already have. But it’s up to you. I have similar concerns myself but ultimately Apple is increasing prices and my perceived value of the latest iPhones is that they aren’t worth it for my usage. So I’ll likely be moving to Android as well.
     
  3. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #3
    The high standards of Apple privacy really needs to be placed in context as it is not all encompassing.

    Once your loading 3rd party apps or off roaming around there is no additional guarantee or discernible difference

    Even if you do not use google services This study (August 2018) by Douglas C. Schmidt, Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University deals with Google Data Collection practices through Android and iOS.

    "While using an iOS device, if a user decides to forgo the use of any Google product (i.e. no Android,no Chrome, no Google applications), and visits only non-Google webpages, the number of times data is communicated to Google servers still remains surprisingly high. This communication is driven purely by advertiser/publisher services. The number of times such Google services are called from an iOS device is similar to an Android device."


    Chances are already too much water under the bridge :)
     
  4. IowaLynn macrumors 65816

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #4
    Google paid Apple a cool $9B to make Google the default search engine on iOS.

    Apple does a great job... Marketing and selling customers "trust us." You're already knee or waist deep into Google.
     
  5. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    #5
    Well, Google is going to get 10x more data from you on Android than iOS. Anyone telling you otherwise is somebody that either doesn’t realize that or has an agenda.
     
  6. MartijnHK thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 18, 2015
    Location:
    Delft, The Netherlands
    #6
    Thank you guys. @SteveJUAE thank for the report. Interesting read. As I am already deep in the Google ecosystem I would say a lot is already known, however Android does collect location info a lot of times even when the phone is at sleep. Like making contact with Google servers 50+ times an hour when idle. While the iPhone pings home like 10 times (to Apple not Google). This is even more when using the phone. Right now my location services for Google are set to 'only during usage of app', so that will definitely change when switching to Android. I will take that into account when deciding.
     
  7. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #7
    Go read that actual report (scroll down to read the data instead of just the brief everybody is parroting). In short, the amount of data collected from iPhones remain significantly less than on an Android phone. If you use any ad-based apps, you cannot escape from those ad networks getting something from your phone. To me, the concern is not about Google itself, but what developers of the platform can siphone off your phone. The extend of data an Android dev can get is quite scary, as they can literally get everything on an Android phone (including call list and SMS contents). I saw this with my own eyes on a developer side. Considering many of these devs are based in countries like China, India, Russia, etc where privacy laws are questionable or non-existent, you just have to wonder.

    In short, if you put privacy at the top priority as a lay user, iPhone is the choice. Simple as that.
     
  8. Glennster macrumors 6502

    Glennster

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    Apr 30, 2014
    #8
    So a person either has their data shared via Android or is lied to by Apple. Pick the lesser of 2 evils.
     
  9. pika2000 macrumors 601

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    Jun 22, 2007
    #9
    Not really. Again, read that study, and actually read the contents and data. Amount and type of data obtained from iOS is still significantly less than Android.
     
  10. Glennster macrumors 6502

    Glennster

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    Apr 30, 2014
    #10
    Again, read what I posted. Apple has lied to it's consumers many times. I think many Apple thumpers need to stop fooling themselves in thinking the monster that is Apple is virgin white.
     
  11. pika2000 macrumors 601

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    Jun 22, 2007
    #11
    So show us their lies.
    In the US, companies can be liable if they lie. If your claim is correct, then you can make easy money by suing Apple.
     
  12. Glennster macrumors 6502

    Glennster

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    Apr 30, 2014
    #12
    Apple doesn't slow down older devices - lie.
    Apple phones don't have a problem with their antenna it's the way the person holds the phone - lie.
    Apple said in court that “no reasonable person… could have reasonably relied on or misunderstood Apple’s statements as claims of fact.” In other words, “Our ads don’t lie, but you’re a fool if you believe them.”

    I'm done with Apple and their walled garden that heaven forbid anyone that tries to leave.
     
  13. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

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    Jul 5, 2012
    #13
    All I can say is bye, have fun with your Android device from companies than never “lie” to you ever. I don’t think anyone is trying to prevent you from leaving. There are plenty of good Android phones out there.

    Just don’t go on blind faith that their ads are true. You’ll be disappointed. You seem to hold some weird things as lies, so I don’t want you to be too disappointed out there.
     
  14. Glennster macrumors 6502

    Glennster

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    #14
    Awww that's so nice of you. Feel free to go back to worshipping Steve Jobs as the second coming of Christ.
     
  15. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

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    #15
    So since I’m not a Christian and doubt Christ existed in the first place, the same zero I did before? I would actually go so far as to say the people working under him were the true innovators. Saying “let’s do X” is easy when you’re not the person that has to make it work.
     
  16. Glennster macrumors 6502

    Glennster

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    #16
    As the great Saul Goodman said: some ppl are immune to good advice.
     
  17. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

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    Jul 5, 2012
    #17
    What does that have to do with anything either of us has said?
     
  18. Glennster macrumors 6502

    Glennster

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    Apr 30, 2014
    #18
    Ask your Siri, she has all the answers.
     
  19. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

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    #19
    Siri is pretty bad, we all know that. Are you going to start making sense any time soon?
     
  20. 0970373 Suspended

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    #20
    Sundar? Is that you?
     
  21. SteveJUAE, Oct 28, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    #21
    Agreed, but in their given example data they note, other trials could of equally produced more or less :)

    I agree it would be wrong to blanketly say Apple lie as they rarely give sufficient reference points to measure against ie It's more about what they do not say opposed to what they say, Pro Apple users will naturally see more good in the blanks :D

    As I noted previously Apple lofty goals on privacy etc are not all encompassing, sure get an iPhone and only use native apps for messaging and load nothing else and you can proudly stand on a pedestal and claim many brownie points on privacy

    Do anything else and its a slippery slope. Apple developers have been data mining your contacts and photos for years and only last June did apple request only essential data be requested, not enforced. Even recently MR reported several apps or more that were location gathering. Setting app permissions is not for the faint hearted :rolleyes: and often confusing.

    Even Apple on Android with their music app request access to your contact details :rolleyes:

    Apple do proclaim to protect your data which is held or used by them. This does not cover many things you may do or access on your iPhone with 3rd parties including apps like find my iPhone which apple note specifically to read the 3rd party T&C on privacy
     
  22. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

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    #22
    Do third party apps on iOS gather as much data as third party apps on Android?
     
  23. digitalcuriosity macrumors 6502

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #23
    All I can say is I switched from my old Apple iPhone4 to a Samsung Android phone, the battery over charged and bulged and split the phones case. Samsung would not honor their warranty.
    Bought a Apple iPhone6 when the phones power plug got badly worn and could no longer charge phone I bought an Apple iPhone8plus.
    Am not a security fearing person so phone security not my major concern.
    Maybe today Samsung have batteries that don’t get over charged, but I feel Apple has the better built phones and they should for their high costs.
     
  24. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #24
    I do not think any one knows with any certainty which one is better or worse :) The report certainly implied IOS was better as in less often but that's not a measure of content shared

    I think anyone would hope IOS is better but that would simple be a guess based on their media stance on direct privacy to data they hold and not what you do with a device by them.

    I do not believe Android gives any more secrete/sensitive/personal data away than IOS however it is more likely that Google/Android make it easier to collect more often less sensitive data re habits/frequency information opposed to some specifics

    But if they know you go to asianbabes.com 100x on an Iphone or a 1000x on an Android the cat is already out of the bag so to speak :D
     
  25. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

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    Jul 5, 2012
    #25
    I believe frequency is the biggest difference as well, but I’m always open to being wrong.

    I grow tired of this back and forth between Android and iOS, though. I think it comes down to people having to make a choice as to how valuable certain things are. And then not judge others for making the choice themselves.
     

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33 October 20, 2018