Google Maps on iPhone |
The Google Maps privacy label on the Apple App Store is worrisome when it comes to data collection and privacy. | Source: Getty images
Marck Zuckerberg is no longer the only one in Apple’s sights now. Indeed, it seems that Google can be put in the same basket. This has serious consequences for more than a billion iPhone users, as the fight for consumer data and loyalty has suddenly escalated. Recently both Apple and Google updated their apps, and that’s why it’s time to start removing some features, including Google Maps.
Certainly, Google keep catching up Apple in terms of privacy, as evidenced by the likely improvements inAndroid 12 in terms of data encryption on Android Messages and Workspace, as well as the new ” Privacy Sandbox From the Internet giant. The reality is that Google is the world’s largest data-centric advertising company, which Apple is not. Finally, who do you trust?
Even having chosen to refuse access to location data to all these applications by disabling the ” Localization service »On iPhone, it is obviously impossible to do the same with mapping applications. Although many iPhone users are attached to Google maps, the alarming comparison between its privacy label and that of Plans Apple should give serious cause for concern.
Put simply, the problem is that all the data that Google Maps claims it can collect is tied to your personal identity. This is how Google works. Everything is linked to build your profile, your timeline. And if it’s possible to go fishing in your Google Account settings to delete some data, most consumers don’t care and why would they? As explained so well Kate o’flaherty, “Everything Google does works great; yes, you have to give up your privacy, but if you don’t care about your privacy, everything works and it all combines perfectly. “
Google minimizes privacy risks by claiming that “Google Maps is designed to protect your information. We provide controls to easily manage your settings and we use cutting edge technologies like confidentiality differential to ensure the security of your data. We continue to make Google Maps the best and most accurate way to navigate and explore the world, while providing rich information about local businesses, best-in-class search and navigation, and useful features like the COVID filter or live attendance information. “
However, this is a delicate position to take when all of your business model is based on user data and targeted advertising. Asked about privacy, Google points out that it is possible to prevent Maps from collecting data on iPhone by selecting the Incognito mode, and that all data collected in accordance with its confidentiality label is not associated with specific individuals or accounts.
However, this more private mode of navigation has serious repercussions on the functionalities: no “shuttle”, location history, sharing, search history or suggestions, presence of restrictions for the assistant in navigation , no offline maps or “your places”. The positive side of this browsing mode is that Google will stop storing your personalized location history and timeline.
The Google Maps app has always been popular with iPhone users. When Apple adopted its own app in 2012, many took offense. Part of that was because users were still addicted to Google Maps, and part of it was that Apple’s initial map offering was poor. The perfect example of a product half completed and launched too early.
“But Plans is really good now,” said Davey winder by STC. “I use CarPlay and have looked at the new Maps updates and it is much better than Google Maps… I am really surprised. “
That said, for many iPhone users, there was simply no need to switch to Google Maps, although the navigation app remains the most popular on the.Apple App Store. However, Apple wants users to think twice about it now by announcing a major update with iOS 15.
“Apple is committed to building the best map in the world”, is it specified, “And iOS 15 takes Maps even further with all new ways to navigate and explore. Users will experience significantly improved city detail for neighborhoods, shopping areas, elevation, and buildings, new colors and road label, custom landmarks, and a new moonlight night mode. “
To return to confidentiality, beyond mapping, Apple has outperformed Google on many apps, including Chrome / Safari and Gmail / Mail. It’s clear that Apple’s core apps (Maps, Safari, and Mail) are installed by default, but Apple now wants to make sure you use them.
For users of CarPlay like Davey Winder, the update to Plans will offer “a three-dimensional city driving experience with new road details that will help users better see and understand important features such as bends, medians, cycle lanes and crosswalks. Public transport users can more easily find nearby stations and pin their favorite lines. Maps automatically follows the selected transit route, alerting users when it’s almost time to get off, and users can even follow the ride on Apple Watch. With iOS 15, users only need to hold the iPhone up in the air for Maps to generate a very precise position to provide detailed guidance on walking in augmented reality. “
Leaving aside the flashy new features, privacy is the main differentiator. The idea is that you can benefit from Google-like functionality and its transparent ecosystem, without compromising your privacy or sacrificing your data. For its part, the Google’s business model is data driven and, if the company has seriously upgraded its privacy label, the motivations as well as the likely end result are very different.
Google is now having trouble with some of its main iPhone apps. Its privacy labels are abysmal compared to other similar apps. Too much data is collected, all linked to individual identities. At the same time, Apple seeks to consolidate the backlash in privacy in 2021, hammering out his message. As for Google, the Internet giant will continue to apply its own privacy measures, and Android 12 will offer improvements for its users.
The reality is, if you value your privacy, you have to be careful about the apps you install and the services you use. With the improvements to Maps, it’s high time to shut down Google’s access to your research and browsing data. Likewise, you should stick to apps like Safari or Mail, or more private alternatives like ProtonMail or DuckDuckGo.
By not giving this level of thought to decisions about applications and services, users are sending the message that they don’t mind being the product, that their data is sort of a free field and that they are okay to keep things as they are. Worse yet, users are also showing that even though they have paid a high price for a safer, more private iPhone, they don’t mind compromising it with the data they freely give away. We must stop this.
As much as you love Google Maps, these blunt revelations about data collection come just as Apple is dramatically improving its Maps app. So it’s time to consider removing the Google Maps app and at least shutting down this part of Google’s data collection machine.
Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Zack Doffman
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