Privacy pitch: After Apple, Google is also mulling over changes that limit tracking of user-data by apps

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February 8, 2021 5:15 AM

After the flak that WhatsApp received over the change of its privacy policy, the search giant is trying to limit how apps can track users on Android devices and how much control over user-data Google wants to provide them.

After the flak that WhatsApp received over the change of its privacy policy, the search giant is trying to limit how apps can track users on Android devices and how much control over user-data Google wants to provide them.After the flak that WhatsApp received over the change of its privacy policy, the search giant is trying to limit how apps can track users on Android devices and how much control over user-data Google wants to provide them.

While two giants of the tech industry are still fighting over what control companies should exercise over user data—Apple and Facebook have been at odds as the new iOS 14 limits Facebook’s tracking on iPhones and iPads—Bloomberg reports that Google may also be mulling something similar to Apple’s move. After the flak that WhatsApp received over the change of its privacy policy, the search giant is trying to limit how apps can track users on Android devices and how much control over user-data Google wants to provide them. Although what Google does would not be comparable to Apple, given data-based revenue generation is Google’s model and that is how it has been able to provide Android for free, such a move would still accord some control to Google/Android users over their data.

There is no doubt that apps must give users a choice to decide whether they want to provide access to their data or not; but users also need to realise that there is a cost to the services involved. A better idea would be to create a subscription product for services with less tracking features. YouTube, one of Google’s product, already has a subscription model without ads and with additional features. This needs to be replicated for all products. More important, Google also needs to devise a way wherein they can share more non-personal data and only a little bit of personal information. Companies also need to aid countries in creating a data market. Unless there is a data market, it would be difficult to determine the right price of privacy.

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