With or without knowledge, we have been giving all our data to Google. If you are an android user, you have been giving your usage statistics to Google without your knowledge. Recently Google was sued for location data collection even after a user turns off location sharing. For people who don’t really care about their data, this is not a big deal. But for people who store some sensitive data or for people who are celebrities and have data sharing issues, this can become a big problem. If their personal data is somehow misused, it can create lots of problem in the future for them. It will be something like celebrities will not be able to rely more on Google or Android phones anymore.
Comparing with iPhones
Researches say that comparing with iPhones, Android mobiles share data 10 times more data with the Google servers. Not just the location data but both iPhones and Android mobiles communicate frequently with their cloud servers to push the usage stats there. While doing a comparison it was identified that when an iPhone sends data to Apple servers it was 10 times less than that of an Android phone sending usage statistics and user data to Google servers. This can also be one of the reasons why most of the people prefer using iPhones over Android phones. If you really require the necessary securities and protection there is nothing wrong with using iPhones but at the same time, the world itself is going towards the direction of decentralization. In that case, maybe if blockchain is utilized well, all the user statistics will be decentralized and will be accessible with proper protection. Who knows, Apple might even start working on implementing a blockchain project.
Android phones communicating with Google servers
A research was conducted and various scenarios were analyzed to understand how many times an android device communicates with the Google server to send and receive data. With that data, a comparison was also made with Apple to understand the difference. It was concluded that Android phones were communciating more number of times compared to that of iPhones. The interesting factor is that even if a user stops location sharing the location of the user was still being tracked. This created lots of location privacy issues. A number of people started to question how this can be fair.
Though Google explains that the data collection is happening only after gaining permission from the user, it is not highly convincing. We all know that most of the people are ignorant to read the terms and conditions before using something. Moreover, when an application is asking for permission, we will obviously be granted the permission from a user perspective. It is quite unfair to expect the end users to understand the technical details before providing any permission to a specific app.
What benefit Google gets by collecting user data?
This is a bigger topic to discuss. If you had listened to recent IO from Google, you will be able to know where they are getting at in terms of technological advancement. In order to work towards technological advancement, Google will need lots of user data for research purpose. Some people would have volunteered for this and some people would have agreed to this without their knowledge. Google gets lots of benefits by collecting user data.
- Ability to show relevant ads for the users based on their previous search history.
- Based on usage statistics further product development can be made easier.
- By collecting user data, Google will be able to easily evaluate themselves.
- Better products and features for the users in the future.
Let’s just take location history collection as an example. If we had turned it on or off in our android device, it is still going to be collected by Google. Say after 10 years you would like to know where were you today and what you were doing, you might be able to access it because Google is already collecting your data. What if they bring a service where you will have to pay them to get that information. If something like that comes, it will be a great business for them. People who are keen about it will not hesitate to pay Google to get that data.
This information can trigger so many thoughts in your mind. Some might find this very interesting and for some people, this can sound scary. Keep thinking!!
Image Source: pixabay.com
Hope you enjoyed reading the article. Please share your views in the comments section.