A few years ago I began criticizing Google on my personal blog for the company’s ham-fisted policies. The result? Search engine traffic from Google to my website fell by 80-percent. To me, the message was loud and clear. Google plays by its own rules. Break a rule and you get punished. Another rule seems to be to copy the best of Apple– but only in public.
Privacy? Get Over It
Google’s next generation competitor to Apple’s iOS on mobile devices is called Android M. This new version promises to come with more privacy options built-in. The kind of options that Apple put into iPhone and iPad years ago.
Wait. What? Doesn’t Google make its money by taking away your privacy? That’s true. Google learns about you by collecting data, then sells the data to advertisers, who can target their messages to match your online usage habits.
Why would Google want to add more privacy to Android OS? Because privacy is a good marketing buzzword these days and Apple’s focus on user privacy and security has been a strong selling point, one which has helped Apple gain about 90-percent of the mobile industry’s profits.
Google wants some of the glamour and glitter that Apple enjoys, so Android M will come with more granular controls for users to choose which data that applications can access. Just like iPhone and iPad.
Even if Google implements Apple-like privacy in Android M, it will be many years before most users of Android smartphones and tablets have the same benefits that iPhone and iPad customers have enjoyed for years. Why? Adoption. New versions of Android take many years to penetrate the marketplace, and that fact stands in stark contrast to Apple’s iOS 8, which is nearing 85-percent adoption on all iOS devices; iPhone and iPads.
Google’s newfound desire to take privacy seriously is pure, unadulterated lip service; the result of increased pressure from governments, noise from privacy and security advocates, public criticism, and Apple’s success competing against Android in the marketplace by providing customers with enhanced privacy and security built in.
Remember this. Google does not make money when you buy an Android-based smartphone or tablet. Google makes money when you use Android applications, so tracking you, your whereabouts, your online viewing habits, your email, your search engine searches is important to Google. Privacy is not.