Google Data Collection Research Madness

Digital Content Next (DCN) - which is providing research and insights on current and emerging industry topics - released a very interesting report about Google’s data collection research by professor Douglas C. Schmidt of the Vanderbilt University.

Some interesting findings out of the report:

  • A dormant, stationary Android phone (with the Chrome browser active in the background) communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period, or at an average of 14 data communications per hour. In fact, location information constituted 35 percent of all the data samples sent to Google.
  • For comparison’s sake, a similar experiment found that on an iOS device with Safari but not Chrome, Google could not collect any appreciable data unless a user was interacting with the device. Moreover, an idle Android phone running the Chrome browser sends back to Google nearly fifty times as many data requests per hour as an idle iOS phone running Safari.
  • Major part of Google’s data collection occurs while a user is not directly engaged with any of its products. The magnitude of such collection is significant, especially on Android mobile devices, arguably the most popular personal accessory now carried 24/7 by more than 2 billion people.

Well that’s tells something about Google’s USP, I’m not sure if this is really what an end-user expects.

You can find the full report here.

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