Apple makes staggering claim about Google Android online tracking

 A padlock against a black computer screen.
A padlock against a black computer screen.

Top Apple executives slammed Google's Android platform as "a massive tracking device”, according to a bombshell revelation.

The accusation was  included in a slide in a presentation sent from Eddy Cue to Apple CEO Tim Cook in a 2013 internal email. The anti-Android allegation comes as part of an ongoing antitrust case against Google for its domination in the search engine market, which is under at least a modicum of threat from Microsoft Bing since it began integrating OpenAI models into the fold.

The trial revealed that Google spent a staggering $26.3 billion in 2021 (via The Verge) to be the default search engine, giving cash out to various rival companies - including Apple.

Apple vs Android privacy

Another slide in the same presentation, posted by the US Department of Justice, which redacted some content, compares the two companies, clearly favoring Apple for its ability to support different accounts for iCloud, the App Store, and the iTunes Store.

The presentation also calls out other major tech companies for their privacy failings, including Facebook for tracking users regardless of whether they had opted out, Google for recording private Wi-Fi communications, Amazon for routing Kindle browser traffic through its own servers, Twitter for collecting iPhone user data without consent, and Instagram for revealing plans to use photos posted to the platform in its ads.

It also compares individual services, like their respective voice assistants, mapping, and advertising.

The 10-week trial against Google includes testimonies from Google execs and others outside of the company, including the above from Apple.

US District Judge Amit Mehta is unlikely to issue a ruling until early in 2024, at which point it will be decided whether Google had broken the law in order to achieve search engine dominance.

In the case that the court rules against Google, the punishment will not likely center around a financial penalty, but rather orders placed on the company that could seriously harm its position as the number one search engine, which currently stands at more than nine in every 10 searches online (via Statcounter).

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