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    Projects like LineageOS and the Librem 5 need more help than ever.

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      Also PostmarketOS, which I’m really hopful for.

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        Also microG, but still it seems further parts of the OS are talking to Google, cf. a forum post on heise.de (in German).

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      But what if you actively turn off location services, haven’t used any apps, and haven’t even inserted a carrier SIM card?

      Ok, but what if you haven’t logged into your Google Account? Then this was far less of an issue (not to say that it wasn’t one), at least for me.

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        Not logging in doesn’t change much.

        The account information gives them a few more data points, but they’re not very important ones. They don’t need your account info to send you advertisements about nearby businesses, for example, or to know you’ve been searching for some type of product.

        Just because they don’t know your name doesn’t mean they haven’t been following you around the internet monitoring everything you’ve been doing.

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          The article describes Google being really invasive about collecting data on you.

          Why would they give a fuck about whether you’re logged in or not? It’s not like being signed in signifies your acceptance of everything they’re doing to you either!

          No one should be surprised by this. Google is basically an arm of the US surveillance state, and has always been. If you look into it, you’ll find they were funded by the CIA (In-Q-Tel) to begin with.

          Ever wonder why no other search engine has come close to the quality of Google’s search results? No one in 2017 can do what Sergey and Larry did in the early 2000’s?

          Investors wouldn’t fund a massive money making machine? People wouldn’t flock to a non-invasive alternative with roughly equal quality search results?

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            People wouldn’t flock to a non-invasive alternative with roughly equal quality search results?

            Correct. Unless that alternative can also provide maps, multimedia, try to satisfy sci-fi fantasies, perform nearly every service under the sun, and become just as big of a household name, no one is going anywhere.

            People already see critics and those who use the smaller alternatives as “power-hungry loonies who demand privacy in the postprivacy age” and “reject the inevitable” as I keep getting told.

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              Correct. Unless that alternative can also provide maps

              Come on. Google Maps would still work just fine, even if you used something else for searches.

              multimedia, try to satisfy sci-fi fantasies, perform nearly every service under the sun, and become just as big of a household name, no one is going anywhere.

              Now you’re just listing some hand-wavy services that Google supposedly provides, that we couldn’t live without.

              Again, as if you couldn’t use a search engine like you and everyone else started using Google back in the day. It gave you much better results than anything before, and you never looked back.

              Somehow we all managed without maps, “multimedia”, or the search engine “satisfying sci-fi fantasies”, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

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                Somehow we all managed without maps, “multimedia”, or the search engine “satisfying sci-fi fantasies”, whatever > that’s supposed to mean.

                Maps has positively impacted my life in a big way. I don’t ever feel lost even in a completely new city. Even in a place with utterly insane streets, it is trivial to get around. It’s pretty freeing to know how to get some place completely new and how long it will take you to get there. Hands down, the best feature modern phones have.

                Gmail and Drive are nice too, but not nearly as important.

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                  Yes, maps is nice. Again, you could use both Google Maps AND someone else’s search.

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                    Agreed.

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              You’re oversimplifying. Big corporations by necessity cooperate with the states in which they operate. That’s the reality of doing business, anyone who thinks anything different is deluding themselves.

              Also, anyone who thinks they can own a modern smartphone and thinks they can’t be tracked, that their location isn’t being recorded somewhere, and that everything they send and receive isn’t being scanned is also deluding themselves.

              We live in David Brin’s Transparent Society - best either get used to it, or learn to forego the conveniences such modern technological advances bestow.

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                We live in David Brin’s Transparent Society - best either get used to it, or learn to forego the conveniences such modern technological advances bestow.

                Brin’s Transparent Society was predicated on “transparency from below”, in which we had an equal view into the lives of those viewing us.

                Our current society is merely an authoritarian surveillance state. It looks nothing like what he described. “Get used to it” is a disastrously passive response to the current situation.

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                  My understanding is that the paper outlines two models - one in which total transparency reigns, and everyone can see everyone all the time. I agree we are nowhere near there.

                  The other is the model where only certain parties -state agencies and big companies see everything - we are getting there very quickly IMO.

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                    The paper outlines those two models, labels the former “The Transparent Society” and presents the latter as, essentially, a dystopian hell on earth inimical to human rights and freedom.

                    Since you feel we’re very quickly ending up in the latter, why advocate “best either get used to it, or learn to forego the conveniences”? That really seems to fly in the face of Brin’s paper, which was presenting an alternative to the current state of affairs that we could only ever hope to engage with by ignoring the very “resign yourself or go luddite” attitude that your post reifies.

                    tl;dr it’s weird to cite his paper in an argument that someone should resign themselves to the current surveillance status quo, when the paper advocates a radical alternative the current surveillance status quo

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                      You’re right. Thanks for pointing that out.

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                  You’re oversimplifying. Big corporations by necessity cooperate with the states in which they operate. That’s the reality of doing business, anyone who thinks anything different is deluding themselves.

                  Oversimplifying how? You don’t seem to be refuting anything I said.

                  You know the “co-operation” you referred to is all about either: 1) the government controlling the masses, and/or 2) the government preventing competition to the BigCorp, right?

                  But you made it sound like a vaguely good thing. It’s not. It never is.

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                    In the sense that compliance does not imply ownership. Google no doubt cooperates with various US intelligence agencies, but that does not make them owned by them or an “arm” of the government. I don’t disagree at all, I’m just pointing out that the phrasing you use implies things that I do not think are true.

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                      Investment by In-Q-Tel does imply at least part-ownership by the government / CIA / surveillance apparatus. It’s not unreasonable to call Google an arm of the government.

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                  The problem is that people, for the most part, assess risk by how often they know of bad outcomes. When was the last time you heard that somebody was bitten by Google’s invasion of their privacy? Europe is a bit different with regard to a cultural memory of spying, and accordingly European policies usually favor privacy.

                  I don’t think things are looking up, either. As robots slowly eclipse humans in various kinds of labor, people’s opinions and attention will become increasingly valuable. If Facebook and Google’s revenue are any indication, there’s a lot of value in people’s privacy.

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                    I thoght that it might be harder for them to accurately track a device without an account, but after thinking about it in more detail, a kind of artifical device IP really shouldn’t be that hard for them to implement f they’ve gotten this far. The second reason was that until recently my phone was rooted with Cyanogen Mod w/o Gapps, so unless they pulled a MINIX on my phone, they shouldn’t have been able to access my device directly.

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                    Have you used that sim on another phone?
                    Have you used that phone number on another phone?
                    Does someone have a contact in their phone/google contact/facebook that says “zge, phone number xxx-xxx-xxx”?
                    Have you visited/logged into some other website that uses some google API that could identify you?
                    Have you connected to a wifi network? Have you used bluetooth? In both cases what you connect to could easily identify you.
                    Have you had wifi or bluetooth turned on but not connected to a network?
                    Has you phone been turned on? Android and iOS will both search for networks/devices anyway, to either make connecting quicker when you do turn it on, aid location information in maps etc., or, track you.

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                    Privacy tag would be good here.