Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Apple and Google Battle over Personalization and Privacy - The New Yorker

Excerpt from a timely Apple/Google privacy reality check by Om Malik

"The battle between Google and Apple has shifted from devices, operating systems, and apps to a new, amorphous idea called “contextual computing.” We have become data-spewing factories, and the only way to make sense of it all is through context. Google’s approach to context is using billions of data points in its cloud and matching them to our personal usage of the Google-powered Web; Apple’s approach is to string together personal streams of data on devices, without trying to own any of it. If Google is taking an Internet approach to personal context, then Apple’s way is like an intranet.

From the surface, Google’s approach seems superior. Understanding context is all about data, and the company is collecting a lot more of it. Apple has your phone; Google has access to almost everything. Google’s approach might lack humanness, but the company will make up for that with accuracy and convenience. Apple’s approach will appeal to those for whom privacy is important. For now, that argument will resonate in parts of the United States and in most of Europe, while the rest of the planet will opt for a cheaper, more convenient, and, in the end, smarter system from Google."
Apple and Google Battle over Personalization and Privacy - The New Yorker
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