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Apple once called Android ‘a massive tracking device’

Apple once privately referred to Android as “a massive tracking device”, according to documents recently released by the US Department of Justice.

Over in the good old US of A, the Google antitrust trial continues to plod on, and the DOJ has just released a tranche of revealing materials (via Android Authority).

One of them comes from an internal presentation sent by email from Apple executive Eddy Cue to CEO Tim Cook a decade ago, outlining the difference in privacy between iOS and Android at the time. It seems this 2013 internal presentation was used by Cue in his testimony back in September.

The stand-out quote from these rather dry internal Apple materials is a slide that is taken up by a single line: “Android is a massive tracking device”.

Other points of difference pointed out in these slides include Google’s approach of combining data across its services, which Apple is reluctant to do.

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Yet other slides highlight how user data is kept local to key Apple services like Siri and Maps, whereas Google’s Voice Search and Google Maps data is tied to the wider Google Account and commingled with ads.

Apple’s suddenly-not-so-internal presentation also uses an old Google ally to land a sucker punch on its biggest rival (and occasional partner). One slide highlights a quote from a certain Eric Schmidt circa 2010, while he was still company CEO.

“Google’s policy is to get right up to the creepy line but not cross it”, he said. There isn’t a lot of context supplied with that quote of course, but still. Oof.

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