An idle Pixel handset shares 1MB of personal data every 12 hours with Google, iPhone no better: study

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Android smartphones and Apple’s iPhone send data to their respective companies every 4 and a half minutes on average, The Irish Times reports.

Data is shared even when you are not actively using your handset.

The report is based on a study published by Trinity College Dublin’s Professor Doug Leith.

Although Google handsets allegedly collect more data than iPhones, the two companies seem to have similar data collection practices.

To be more specific, the study found that an idle Google Pixel smartphone sends 1MB of data every 12 hours, versus 52KB for the iPhone.

Details such as the hardware serial number, Wifi MAC address, IMEI, phone number, and insertion of a SIM are among the data that’s being shared by smartphones. 

Apple, which casts itself as pro-privacy, also appears to be collecting excessive data.

iPhones not only gather data about smartphone activity but also snoop on devices nearby. When someone connects to a wifi network, the WiFi MAC addresses of other phones on the network are also sent to the Cupertino giant. 

There is no way to opt-out of the data collection and there are concerns that companies could link device data to other sources such as web browsing.

Google says that device data is needed to keep the operating system up to date.



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