Apple and Google, the two giants of the global mobile market, are offering app publishing platforms for third parties, the iOS App Store and the Android Play Store. Ideally, the platform side needs to maintain as much equity as possible, such as not using its advantages to attack third-party competitive apps or service providers, but the reality is always counterproductive. Google has been collecting data from competing apps to boost its services, according to a new report by The Information.
In retrospect, Microsoft has faced antitrust complaints for abusing the dominance of the Windows operating system to push Internet Explorer and crack down on Netscape.
But Google’s use of the Android platform to collect data on competing apps such as TikTok and other email apps, and its use on its own services, such as YouTube and Gmail, has also been heavily criticised.
The Information notes that Google’s Android Lockbox service can collect and store data anonymously with the permission of users without seeking the consent of a third-party app developer.
Although Google officially claims to be using the app data to improve battery management, the source said that when Google considered launching the TikTok competitive service in the Indian market, the company’s in-house team ‘referenced’ the same data set.
In addition to TikTok, the report also refers to Google’s surveillance of usage data on email competitions on Android, such as Microsoft Outlook, and social apps such as Facebook and Instagram.
Even Google admits to collecting usage data on apps and says app developers can use them for free. But third parties, however, can only see their app data than Google, rather than a more comprehensive understanding than the search giant.
Similar problems have emerged in which Amazon uses sales data from third-party products on its e-commerce platform to decide whether to launch its own-brand competition. The company is facing an EU investigation after the revelations.
But Google will appear before the House Judiciary Committee next week as regulators tighten scrutiny of the tech giant’s anticompetitive practices.