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Tuesday, 28 August 2018 11:53

For an iPhone you pay more $. For Android, you pay with info

For an iPhone you pay more $. For Android, you pay with info Pixabay

When it comes down to selecting a smartphone, there are but two choices these days: an iPhone or an Android phone.

People are inclined to give the iPhone a miss, merely because of the cost. These are the folk who have no value for their personal information – that is the price they pay to Google for buying an Android phone.

But then that is not a measurable amount in dollar terms. It all depends on how highly you value your privacy. For oddballs like me, you cannot put a dollar figure on it – it is invaluable.

But does not Apple also collect personal information? Sure, it does. But if you were to compare the information collected and the creepy behaviour of various companies that results, then Google is by far the bigger villain.

The company has no respect for individuals. It cares not a jot for using your most intimate details to create targeted advertising. That data is sold to the highest bidder (and the lowest bidder too) so that the billions that Google's parent company, Alphabet, reports each year can keep increasing.

Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have posed as ethical individuals many times but they are just poseurs. Anyone who believes them is naive in the extreme. They are out there to accumulate money, to take every dollar, shekel, pound, dirham and dinar from you and put it in their own pockets.

They keep a low profile, partly because if they did appear in public someone may throw a pie or two at them, the same way that a Belgian man did when Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates appeared in public while he was still in harness at the Redmond behemoth.

Unfortunately, we have only a binary choice when it comes to mobile phones. Microsoft's Windows phone died some time ago and though rumours surface now and then about a device appearing on the market, those continue to be just rumours.

Linux, too, has a similar tale. The best known failure among them was the Ubuntu Phone that went the way of the dodo last year. A privacy focused model, known as the Librem 5, is set to make its debut sometime in 2019, but it will not be a mass-market device.

And given that numerous apps that are only available as iOS or Android versions are used by public utilities, one has no way of avoiding carrying one of these devices while travelling or even when at home in order to negotiate everyday tasks.

But when it comes to your next phone, think hard. Do you want to give your money to Apple, a company that charges whatever the market will bear, a price that sometimes seems excessive? Or would you like to give a little less to a company that treats you like chattel? The choice is yours.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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