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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Although the choice between iOS and Android may sometimes seem like a question of aesthetics, the reality is that the different business models of Apple and Google lead to fundamental differences for your privacy.

Why it matters: Because of the way Google monetizes user data, Android phones can cost hundreds of dollars less than iOS devices. The more you spend, the more likely you are to use a device with more privacy protection and less data collection.

Key differences:

  • iOS anonymizes much of the data sent back to Apple — although the company still collects a broad swath of information.
  • Apple markets privacy as a key feature of its products.
  • Android phones, by design, send a lot more data back to Google, including location and other sensitive information, much of which powers the company's vast ad-targeting network.

Between the lines: Even within the Android ecosystem, there's inequality. Because there are so many different Android-based products, the popular high-end devices are subjected to more rigorous testing by app developers. So low-cost devices may have more glitches.

By the numbers: Studies have shown that the more you earn, the more likely you are to own an iOS device.

  • A 2013 Pew study found that people with household incomes of $74,999 or less were more likely to say their phone was an Android device than an iPhone.
  • The opposite was true of people with incomes of $75,000 or higher.

The big picture: As business models evolve, privacy is more often seen as something you pay for. That’s a concerning trend for privacy advocates.

  • “I think many folks would say that runs the risk of marginalizing the poor,” said Allie Bohm of the public interest group Public Knowledge.
  • Internet service providers experimented with so-called pay-for-privacy plans, where you get a discount if you agree to data collection, but later pulled back on those efforts.

The bottom line: Google isn’t interested in changing its data-driven business model. It does lead to more affordable devices, but those savings can come at a cost to privacy.

Go deeper

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will not seek re-election in 2022

Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker (R) speaking during a press conference in November 2021. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), a moderate who typically ranks as one of the nation's most popular governors, said Wednesday that he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) will not seek third terms in 2022.

Why it matters: The decision leaves the gubernatorial race wide open and will likely affect multiple down-ballot races next year. Baker was expected to be the front-runner had he joined the race.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.