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The difference between Apple and Google at the Senate hearings: Curation vs “Openess”

A post by Victor Agreda, Jr. from TUAW.com tells some differences:

Apple:

…From where I sat, Apple was on the defensive — but in a good way. The defense was primarily "we own the store, we own the rules for the store, and our goal is to protect the consumer." Working to Apple's advantage is the tight control of the App Store, which some (including TUAW at times) have bemoaned as draconian. But I think today's hearings show how a tightly-controlled store can benefit consumers if the entity controlling the store is genuinely proactive about protecting the privacy of consumers…

Google:
…For its part, Google's representative played offense, pointing out how location data can be used to benefit mankind. As one example, he noted the company's work with the Center for Exploited and Missing Children, and how Google aims to push Amber Alerts to people in a specific region for those alerts. He also, again and again, expressed how Google supports "openness" instead of curation.

Unfortunately, Google took a beating in the hearings, basically admitting that the Google app market is a Wild West of applications. With the Android Marketplace's openness, developers can and do write apps that encourage or enable illegal activity. Also, Google's policies on who does what with your data (be it location or email or whatever) are there, but each app developer can pretty much do as they please with only the vaguest notion that Google might (in case of malware, for example) come down on you and remove your app from the store.

By explicitly stating that the aim of the Android Marketplace is not for Google's team to be gatekeepers, Google puts the onus on consumers to be aware of who is using their data and how they are using it. In the end the Senators seemed to be less thrilled with this response than Apple's curated store approach — one with a specific set of guidelines, restrictions and policies to which every developer must adhere…

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