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Google fights back over Android Auto data-collection claims

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Google has responded swiftly to reports claiming that luxury carmaker Porsche chose Apple’s CarPlay over Android Auto because the search giant demanded too much user data.

A Motor Trend report (via The Verge) claimed Porsche rejected the agreement as Google wished to collect data such as vehicle speed, throttle position, engine revs and fluid temperatures.

However, Google issued a denial on Tuesday, claiming the report was incorrect before trotting out the usual line in relation to how seriously it takes user privacy.

"We take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp, and coolant temp," the statement read.

"Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in drive, and provide more accurate navigation through the car's GPS."

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The initial report from Motor Trend claimed Porsche had opted for CarPlay as the default infotainment system on the 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S because Apple only wished to ensure the vehicle was moving while Apple Play is in use.

While Google has rebuffed the claim over its data-collection demands, the report does highlight a growing difference in how the two companies are perceived when it comes to user data.

Apple is attempting to present itself as a crusader for user privacy, claiming it has no use for the reams of data handed over by users.

In late September, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an open letter, which was largely seen as a sideswipe at Google’s data-collection habits.

He wrote: “A few years ago, users of internet services began to realise that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.

“Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web-browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetise” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.”

Bugblatter

October 7, 2015, 10:38 am

That "if it's free" thing needs to change. If they can legally make money out of you by using or selling your data then they'll generally do so regardless of whether you're paying for the service.

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