Android can collect 20 times more data than iOS, study reveals

One study found that Android phones collect about 20 times more data from users than iPhones. The research was conducted by Doug Leith, a professor at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

Even when inactive, the devices continually send information to Google and Apple. Data collection ranges from simply inserting the SIM card into a smartphone to interacting with the hardware and apps.

Google gathers up to 1.3 TB of data from Android users in the U.S.Google gathers up to 1.3 TB of data from Android users in the U.S.Source: Medium / Reproduction

The study indicates that Android sends about 1 MB of data at device startup, while iOS sends 42 KB. So, Google’s operating system sends another 1 MB every 12 hours in an idle state, while Apple’s reaches 52 KB.

Another surprising detail is that it is estimated that Google gathers 1.3 TB of data from its users every 12 hours, only in the United States. On the other hand, iOS stores 5.8 GB in the same period.

To perform the measurement, a Google Pixel 2 with Android 10 and an iPhone not identified with iOS 13 were used. To monitor data collections, the devices had their network connections unblocked.

Finally, the information collected by both systems is related to IMEI, cell phone serial number, phone number and device IDs. However, Android also captures details of the location and IP address.

Table with the summary of data collected when the user is not connected.Table with the summary of data collected when the user is not connected.Source: Douglas Leith / Press Release

Google response

Google commented on the issue through a spokesman and said that data collection is a basic feature of any device. This ensures that software such as iOS and Android are always up to date and working efficiently.

However, the technology giant pointed out flaws in the experiment and that the information is wrong by an order of magnitude. In addition, she shared this concern with the researcher before the article was published.

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