Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Requests for Personal Data From Apple, Google, and Facebook Compared

Jefferson Graham of USA Today requested a copy of his personal data from each of three major tech companies:

The zip file I eventually received from Apple was tiny, only 9 megabytes, compared to 243 MB from Google and 881 MB from Facebook. And there’s not much there, because Apple says the information is primarily kept on your device, not its servers. The one sentence highlight: a list of my downloads, purchases and repairs, but not my search histories through the Siri personal assistant or the Safari browser. 

I don’t think the story here is that Apple retains very little customer data; the story here is that Facebook and Google have a staggering and deeply concerning amount, with extraordinary granularity, and that it reaches back years.