Microsoft has stepped up its “Scroogled” campaign against Google with a new video that highlights the fact that Android users’ personal information is shared with developers every time they download an application.
The “Scroogled” website was updated on Tuesday with a new video detailing how a user’s full name, email address, and the neighborhood where they live is passed from Google to an app maker every time software is downloaded from the Google Play store for Android. The campaign warns that this allows app makers to track what apps users buy, “even health related ones.”
“Most app makers are trustworthy,” the video states. “However, in the wrong hands, who knows what they’ll do with your info?”
Microsoft notes that the transfer of information takes place every time a user buys an Android application from Google Play. The video shows such information being used to draw conclusions that the user may be “overweight,” could have “cholesterol issues,” or even may be “having a baby.”
“Google does not clearly warn you that this transfer of personal info occurs every time you buy an app,” Microsoft’s campaign says. “It’s not stated in the checkout process, on the receipt, or in your account history.”
Of course, the boys from Redmond aren’t informing the public of this strictly out of altruism, the whole campaign is designed to promote the Windows Phone platform.
Microsoft says it does not share such personal information with developers. Google notes that its sharing practices are disclosed in the terms of service that all users must agree to. And, we as users are sure to read every line of those, right?
Tuesday’s barrage is the third major attack launched against Google as part of its “Scroogled” campaign.
The first phase of the campaign showed how Google’s algorithms go through their users’ personal email to target advertisements. This was to promote Microsoft’s own Outlook email service.
The second prong of the attack was against Google Shopping’s targeted ads which Microsoft says “unsuspecting consumers assume are search results.” Microsoft says their alternative, Bing provides “an honest search result.”