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Android handsets, iPhones send your handset data to Google, Apple every 4 and half minutes

Representational image.
Representational image. (REUTERS)

The data is shared regardless of whether you are actively working on your phone or not.

Over the past few years, a lot of companies have come under radar for data sharing and regarding user privacy. Be it Apple, Google, Facebook or any other company, all have been asked about it at least once in the last 3-4 years. And if you are one of those who doesn’t like to share your data with the companies, you must’ve been extra cautious. But no matter how much you try to control your data being given to firms, a new report states that it happens anyway, specially when it comes to Apple iPhones and Google Android phones. According to a report by The Irish Times, both Android phones and iPhones send data to their companies every 4 and half minutes.

It has been added that the data is shared regardless of whether you are actively working on your phone or not. The report cites a study made by Trinity College Dublin's Professor Doug Leith.

“I think most people accept that Apple and Google need to collect data from our phones to provide services such as iCloud or Google Drive. But when we simply use our phones as phones – to make and receive calls and nothing more – it is much harder to see why Apple and Google need to collect data,” he states.

Also read: A malware masquerading as System Update is attacking Android phones

It is added that although Google’s Android is usually said to share more data than iPhones, both companies follow nearly the same data sharing practices. In the test, it was found out that an idle Google Pixel sends 1MB data every 12 hours, as compared to 52KB in an iPhone. Some of the details shared by the companies are regarding hardware serial number, Wifi MAC address, IMEI, phone number, and insertion of a SIM.

Leith mentions that there is no way you can opt out of this data collection process.

Although Apple has not yet commented on it, Google spokesperson says that such data helps them ensure that software is up to date and services are working as intended. “This research outlines how smartphones work,” a spokesperson for Google stated. “Modern cars regularly send basic data about vehicle components, their safety status and service schedules to car manufacturers, and mobile phones work in very similar ways. This report details those communications, which help ensure that iOS or Android software is up to date, services are working as intended, and that the phone is secure and running efficiently.”

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