Google is the largest search engine there is on both the web and mobile.
While there is no denying how capable it is in crawling and indexing the web since 1998, one of the ways it managed to get on top, is through its massive networks of trackers, which are more than plenty, spread to wherever that can be connected to the internet.
One of Google's main competitors in the tech business, is Apple.
Since the release of iOS 14, Apple has stepped up its game in trying to preserve users' privacy.
Using the so-called "nutrition labels," for example, Apple forces developers of apps for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS to disclose information for is App Privacy labels.
Developers have to be up to date and accurate every time they submit a new update. And whoever failed to provide the necessary information for the labels, can lose the ability to update their apps.
The deadline was December 8, 2020, and Google was months late.
Back in February, even Google marked its own iOS apps out of date.
It was around that time, that YouTube started to release an update to its iOS app, thus providing its own nutrition label information. After all, YouTube is Google's, but has its own CEO, meaning that it is ran as a separate company.
And finally, after months of neglect, Google releases an update to its main Google app for iOS.
In accordance to Apple's App Store rules, it also added its own App Privacy labels, just like everyone else.
But this is where it gets interesting, simply because Google had no choice but to transparently show that it collects data that includes location, search history, and browsing history. Google's own marketing data includes all of the aforementioned information, alongside with users' contact information and device identifiers, plus there's even more data collected for analytics, app functionality, and product personalization.
DuckDuckGo uses this moment to hit Google where it hurts the most.
Like a jab or an uppercut to the face, DuckDuckGo said that Google's delay meant that it "wanted to hide" the information it collects, which is why Google took so long to roll out support for App Privacy labels.
The privacy-focused search engine tweeted to highlight Google's data collection, in order to call out the company for "spying" on users.
After months of stalling, Google finally revealed how much personal data they collect in Chrome and the Google app. No wonder they wanted to hide it.
Spying on users has nothing to do with building a great web browser or search engine. We would know (our app is both in one). pic.twitter.com/lJBbLTjMuu
— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) March 15, 2021
Most people who use Google and the many of its products and services, are likely not surprised at the extent of the data that Google collects.
But by seeing all of its tracking abilities in one place, this is a stark reminder to privacy-concerned individuals, showing how Google, the tech giant that controls Android and pretty much of the web, can have such a huge grip in people's lives.
Google has said that many of its products and services are innovations. The company called them tech evolution, made to make people's lives easier and much more convenient.
To many users, Google and all of its properties are indeed a huge helping hand. But to others, Google is creepy.
And here, its App Privacy labels are showing just that.
Google needed Apple so it can provide its products and services to the many Apple users. Google had no choice but to be transparent, and provide the information to populate the App Privacy labels, in a way that Apple wants.
DuckDuckGo, the search engine from Gabriel Weinberg, is known for its offensive mode whenever it speaks about Google.
Knowing that Google had no choice but to follow Apple's rules, certainly puts a huge smirk on the Duck's face.