Apple Executive Explains Why Google Is Still the Default Search Engine on iPhone

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 28 Jan 2021

google iphone

European Union data protection conference, CPDP, is finally underway, and following Tim Cook’s speech, Apple’s senior director of global privacy Jane Horvath took part in a discussion focused on data privacy.

In her keynote, Horvath explained that the industry is at an “inflection point” in regards to user privacy. She questioned the current norm of providing ‘unlimited personal data’ in return for free services. Horvath said that Apple saw this approach as a “false dichotomy.”

Horvath explained Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature, and why the feature is important in the modern world. She said that the sole purpose of Apple to add the feature was to educate a user about how an app tracks user, and uses that data for advertising benefits.

“All that we are doing with our App Tracking Transparency framework, or ATT, is giving users choice; asking individuals whether they want to be tracked or not.

Think of it this way: Isn’t it odd that some people don’t want users to have the choice over whether or not they are tracked with a clear and precise language? This is very important. Developers should not try to take steps to ignore the user space, if the user asked not to be tracked.”

The senior director also emphasized that the new App Tracking Transparency will go live for all the developers this Spring. Apple will also roll out the feature along with the next iOS 14 beta. Horvath also noted that like Google, Apple doesn’t use IDFA technology to track an app’s usage on iPhone. She said that Apple used a ‘privacy-focused first-party ad network’ in its app. “Apple does not know which ads and the individual user was served,” Horvath explained.

Horvath was also asked why Apple doesn’t make DuckDuckGo, a popular privacy-focused search engine, the default search engine on iPhone, rather than Google. This is what she answered:

“Right now, Google is the most popular search engine. We do support Google but we also have built-in support for DuckDuckGo, and we recently also rolled out support for Ecosia”

Google also pays Apple billions of dollars to remain the default search engine in Safari on iOS.

We Want to Hear From You

What are your thoughts on Jane Horvath’s comments? Do you still use Google as the primary search engine on iOS? If not, which search engine have you switch to? Do let us know in the comment section below!

[Via CPDP]