If you’re reading this article, chances are very good you’re being spied on by someone, somewhere, and somehow. No, not from BohemianBoomer. We’re a do not track site which equals no spying which means Boomer don’t spy.
The very act of being online, browsing the interwebs, reading articles here and there, checking email, and just connecting your Mac or PC, iPhone or Android phone to the world’s largest network puts you at risk for data collection, which is just a bigger phrase that means spying.
Among the major technology gadget makers, Apple vs. Microsoft: Who spies the most?
Actually, it’s a trick question because all the major players in the gadget industry collect data, so they, in effect, spy on their customers or users. Microsoft’s Windows 10 has a new privacy settings page with a grand total of five buttons to turn on or off and accept.
First, let’s check out Microsoft and then compare that list to the options Apple gives you.
- Location – giving up your location means accurate and localized weather and directions. It also means Microsoft knows where you are.
- Diagnostics – this helps Microsoft improve software and services and likely is innocuous, but you never know, do you?
- Relevant Ads – advertising makes the world go round and helps to reduce app prices, but at least Microsoft is right up front about the spying.
- Speech Recognition – yeah, most PCs have microphones and cameras, and Microsoft’s Cortana works much like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, so when the mic is on, you can speak and be understood by your PC. But it also means your PC can listen to you whenever Microsoft decides it wants to listen.
- Tailored Experiences – Kudos to Microsoft for at least asking if it’s OK to use data to tailor the company’s products and services for your needs.
Who spies the most? Microsoft pays lip service to privacy because gathering information about you is a time honored and profitable profession. Google does it more than Microsoft, of course, because that’s how Google makes money. Remember, you’re not Google’s customer. You’re a user and that makes you part of the product.
On your Mac, open System Preferences and click Security & Privacy. General settings are obvious, FileVault encrypts your Mac’s files, Firewall locks out potential hacks, but Privacy is where it’s at because you get a list and controls on a per app basis. You control the whole shebang, app by app, if needed.
iPhone and iPad work much the same but with even more extensive controls. Open Settings, tap on Privacy. That’s where you’ll find granular controls to block or allow third party applications which need or want to view your private information.
While Apple is rather upfront about what it collects and what it may do with your personal and device information, Apple’s motivation for culling data is different than Google with Chrome and Android, Microsoft, Amazon, et al. They make money from your data which is used to create and maintain a personal profile. Apple does not.