A recent revelation from the ongoing Google antitrust trial shows that Apple views Android as a “massive tracking device” compared to its own iPhone operating system. The presentation was part of testimony by Apple executive Eddy Cue, who accused Google of monopolizing the search market through exclusive search default deals on devices.
The presentation slide visually compared Apple and Google’s divergent approaches to user data across their services. As summarized, Google ties together user information across products like Search, Maps and Gmail to personalize services.
In contrast, Apple purports to only share select data to improve core experiences like Siri personalization.
Specifically, the exhibit said Google “joins voice searches and account data”, while Apple’s Siri voice assistant is “separate from account.” Essentially, Apple framed the iPhone as minimizing data collection versus Android’s expansive data ties.
This confidential Apple slide suggests the company thinks Google’s data hunger crosses privacy boundaries compared to Apple’s more restrained use of customer information. It also provides context around Apple’s privacy-related concerns during its lucrative iPhone search deal negotiations with Google.
As background, Google currently pays Apple up to $12 billion per year to remain the default search engine on iOS. But Apple’s exhibit questions what user data Google might expect in return, as internal communications showed Apple wanted a “reciprocal” data sharing arrangement.
The presentation excerpt surfaced as evidence of Apple’s early privacy positioning to compete against Google and Android. As reported by iPhone in Canada and Benzinga, Apple was using this stance to kick off its privacy-focused iPhone marketing efforts. However, the coverage did not include direct quotes from the internal Apple presentation or related documents.
This latest peek into the Apple-Google rivalry highlights how personal data fuels big tech competition. As consumers, we get caught in the middle of these privacy issues when using smartphones and services from Apple, Google, and others. It’s important to stay informed on how our data is collected, shared, and monetized across platforms.
While tech giants point fingers over privacy practices, individuals must make informed choices on where to draw the line for their own data. Next time you use an iPhone, Android phone, Google Search, or any service, remember that your data trails may leave behind digital breadcrumbs.