In “Google Data Collection,” Professor Douglas C. Schmidt,
Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University, catalogs
how much data Google is collecting about consumers and their most
personal habits across all of its products and how that data is
being tied together.
The key findings include:
A dormant, stationary Android phone (with the Chrome browser
active in the background) communicated location information to
Google 340 times during a 24-hour period, or at an average of 14
data communications per hour. In fact, location information
constituted 35 percent of all the data samples sent to Google.
For comparison’s sake, a similar experiment found that on an iOS
device with Safari but not Chrome, Google could not collect any
appreciable data unless a user was interacting with the device.
Moreover, an idle Android phone running the Chrome browser sends
back to Google nearly fifty times as many data requests per hour
as an idle iOS phone running Safari.
That’s quite a difference.