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"By default, users have a unique tracking/advertising ID attached to their phone."

Google has the same thing, and with apple if you care you can opt out.

"When Limit Ad Tracking is enabled on iOS 10 or later, the Advertising Identifier is replaced with a non-unique value of all zeros to prevent the serving of targeted ads. It is automatically reset to a new random identifier if you disable Limit Ad Tracking."

So this is a positive in apple's case over google privacy wise, not a negative against google.

"- iOS is extremely restrictive, making certain privacy adjustments impossible."

Generally you can't get unremovable malaware installed on an iphone you buy from apple. If this type of privacy restriction makes you choose android privacy invading phones - go for android. Many people like the locked down Apple setup.






> Generally you can't get unremovable malaware installed on an iphone.

Apple uses FUD to justify restricting users from doing what they want with their phone.

> If this type of privacy restriction makes you choose android privacy invading phones - go for android.

This is not what I’m talking about. I want to be able to use tools such as NetGuard to enhance privacy, which iOS doesn’t allow.


"FUD" isn't so uncertain when there is known widespread android malware. iOS malware only happens in extreme cases (like ransomware via a bad profile https://i.blackhat.com/briefings/asia/2018/asia-18-Zhu-and-L... ), via something like XcodeGhost, or via safari tech support scams. Just look at how stark of contrast there is between the lists of malware for both devices - https://www.cyber.nj.gov/threat-profiles/android-malware-var... and https://www.cyber.nj.gov/threat-profiles/ios/#list-of-known-....

Have you read what types of malware is on the list? "Download and install this app from sketchy place" kind of thing...

My partner has downloaded malware from the play store.

or is the play store sketchy? Where is the official repository of safe applications?


> you can't get unremovable malaware installed on an iphone you buy from apple.

This is simply not true. iOS also allows "supervisor" apps (see MDM) that are extremely difficult to remove later, perhaps even more difficult than android.

I know because I used to work at company that did a kids protection app.


Apple cracked down on those recently, and has added support for MDM with a lighter touch in recent versions of iOS.

Marketing spin, these apps are still in the appstore right now.

> Google has the same thing, and with apple if you care you can opt out.

I'm not on Android any more, but (afair) you could reset the advertising ID, which in practice is not that different from only being able to disable it temporarily.


Yes, but the ease of use and prominence of the feature make a difference. If I have to manually reset the ID, well, forget it. If the operating system automatically does it for me - then that is far superior.

Oh, yes. That’s what I meant and tried to express, poorly.

The UX makes a huge difference here, a feature is available in theory, but realistically speaking, inaccessible and annoying to the point of uselessness.


The phone id is only one way you are tracked.

You are being tracked in multiple places, at the ISP level, at the geo level, cookie and account level, and I don't know where else.

Being able to reset your phone ID is insufficient given all the other ways you can be tracked.

With Apple, maybe they're the lesser of two evils, but there is still a lot of room they could improve if they really wanted.

The aforementioned iOS restrictions block you from being able to implement all the available privacy tools.

Being able to implement all those privacy controls is a double edged sword. There's a certain amount of security you get from not ever having root access. It depends on your threat model.


Also keep in mind the more control users have to install things like that, the more differentiated each user will become.

This is one of the paradoxes that exist with certain tracking protections that exist today. Eg. Enabling Do Not Track or fingerprint blocking could make you easier to track. Though these are becoming more ubiquitous, and therefore harder to use to track you, as browsers make them the default settings.




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