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Apple throws shade at Android, labels it as a ‘massive tracking device’

One of the slides in the presentation made a stark comparison between Apple and Google’s approach to user data.

Illustration of Apple and Android logos in a boxing ring
Image: KnowTechie

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Apple has thrown a punch at its biggest rival, labeling Android as a “massive tracking device” in an internal presentation from 2013.

The revelation came during the ongoing Google antitrust trial, where the US Department of Justice published new exhibits.

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.

One of the slides in the presentation made a stark comparison between Apple and Google’s approach to user data.

According to the slide, Google combines user data across all its services, while Apple only does so to improve customer experience.

This image shows that Android devices are capable of collecting and tracking a lot of data about their users.
Image: Twitter

Apple even went ahead to compare how Google ties voice searches and account data, while their very own Siri is separate from user accounts.

Reading between the lines, this tells me that Apple is probably thinking: “Hey, we only peek through your window to make sure you’re safe, while the other guy is rummaging through your drawers.”

Now, here’s the kicker. Google pays Apple billions annually to remain the default search engine on iPhone. The exhibit provides new context about Apple’s concerns with Google’s privacy practices during negotiations.

The plot thickens as the exhibit passage questions what kind of user data Google may share with Apple in return, as internal emails show Apple wanted a reciprocal data-sharing agreement.

This image is showing how different services from Google and Apple require separate accounts for authentication and how data is combined across services when it provides a better customer experience.
Image: KnowTechie

As reported by iPhone in Canada and Benzinga, Apple was using this stance to kick off its privacy-focused iPhone marketing efforts. However, the sources did not provide verbatim evidence from the related documents or presentations.

While we all love a good tech rivalry, it’s important to remember that at the heart of this is our data and what tech companies are doing with it.

As consumers, it’s crucial to stay informed and make choices that align with our comfort levels regarding data privacy. So, next time you’re using your smartphone, just remember someone might be rummaging through your drawers.

Representatives for Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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