11-18-2017 08:05 AM
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  1. N1cks's Avatar
    I've disabled pretty much every thing in the personal info & privacy settings except for YouTube.

    If I use Bing, Outlook, Here etc - am I flying under Google's radar or can Google still skim data somehow?

    I'm not a privacy nut... I use Facebook!
    I'm just wondering if you can truly opt-out with Google.
    I'd imagine the EU Privacy guys would be all over Google if they were somehow stealing data through Android.

    I'm looking at moving from my Lumia to Android or iOS. I like both platforms...but I don't trust the 'do no evil' company. Can someone put my mind at ease?
    Attached Thumbnails 55422.jpg  
    RumoredNow and ochhanz like this.
    11-08-2017 09:47 AM
  2. PerfectReign's Avatar
    If you put aluminum foil around your new phone, turn off WiFi and Cellular data, and browse only using a proxy you should be fine.
    tgp, Guytronic, N_LaRUE and 8 others like this.
    11-08-2017 09:53 AM
  3. Wolfjt's Avatar
    I've disabled pretty much every thing in the personal info & privacy settings except for YouTube.

    If I use Bing, Outlook, Here etc - am I flying under Google's radar or can Google still skim data somehow?

    I'm not a privacy nut... I use Facebook!
    I'm just wondering if you can truly opt-out with Google.
    I'd imagine the EU Privacy guys would be all over Google if they were somehow stealing data through Android.

    I'm looking at moving from my Lumia to Android or iOS. I like both platforms...but I don't trust the 'do no evil' company. Can someone put my mind at ease?
    I think you need a different outlook on things. Google isn't stealing data or spying on anyone. when you sign up you sign up for ads there's really no getting around it.
    11-08-2017 03:50 PM
  4. TgeekB's Avatar
    I think you need a different outlook on things. Google isn't stealing data or spying on anyone. when you sign up you sign up for ads there's really no getting around it.
    This.
    Spying means they’re trying to break into your bank account. They would have been out of business a long time ago if this was true.
    They gather information about your interests and steer advertising to you. Irritating would be the word I would use.
    11-08-2017 07:33 PM
  5. N1cks's Avatar
    I think you need a different outlook on things. Google isn't stealing data or spying on anyone. when you sign up you sign up for ads there's really no getting around it.

    Fair point. But my question remains: how much information will Google collect from me if I disable all the controls in the privacy settings. Because the answer should be zero (other than Google Play Store).

    I don't have problem the advertising business model. My concern is Google's dominance - something like 90% of the Global smartphone market & the same for search.

    Edit: This article is a bit old, but more or less answers my questions...
    https://android.stackexchange.com/qu...d-how-do-i-opt
    Last edited by N1cks; 11-08-2017 at 08:55 PM.
    11-08-2017 08:38 PM
  6. Guytronic's Avatar
    There's pretty much no way to slip away from Google completely when using an Android device.

    if you want Android apps or your phone to function in even the most basic manner you'll need to create a Google account.
    After that you may pick and choose which services you'll allow yet your account ties you into Google.

    Personally I don't have much fear using Android.
    All I know is that when I created a Microsoft account I got the same treatment using Microsoft services under Windows phone and desktop.
    I really don't see a lot of difference these days because almost all on-line services want an account and permissions to trade info for convenience.
    11-08-2017 10:36 PM
  7. RumoredNow's Avatar
    I think you need a different outlook on things. Google isn't stealing data or spying on anyone. when you sign up you sign up for ads there's really no getting around it.
    True that they aren't spying to give your data away to some third party. False that they aren't spying to try and use your data to make money from advertisers that they shove at you.

    I don't want to be an ad sponge. I also don't want Google/Alphabet milking my activities for their own profit with the only benefit to me being that I pay $ for entry to begin with. Sure Android is "free" on paper but just having the code doesn't get you anything but some lines of code. You have to pay for the hardware and network to run it on.


    I'll start a club. People pay me to join and I'll have someone follow them around so I can sell their anonymized activities to whomever wants to buy them and get super rich doing it. Sounds great, don't it?

    There's a very good reason this gets asked about regularly that has nothing to do with paranoia. It's called not wanting to feel used and degraded into a commodity. Too many people just shrug their shoulders and accept it as "there's really no getting around it." For others it really sticks in their craw.

    Yes, these companies are all mining data. But how and why is important; as is what they do with the resultant info. So let's nip the "But (insert X) tracks your data too" straw man argument in the bud. We aren't discussing anyone except Google in here.

    I think you need a different outlook on things, so we clearly agree to disagree. You think I should just bend over and smile as they shove it in and I say no way, Jose.
    a5cent, Nate W, ochhanz and 1 others like this.
    11-09-2017 12:02 AM
  8. sb1370's Avatar
    The best way to drop google out of your android phone is flashing Linage OS (Cyanogenmod) without installing gapps.
    Also you can try rooting your phone and removing google apps from your ROM.
    As an alternative for gapps see microg Project. I tried their network location app, it allows you to use offline database or mozilla for cellular location estimation.
    Last edited by sb1370; 11-09-2017 at 08:27 AM.
    11-09-2017 08:17 AM
  9. Wolfjt's Avatar
    Fair point. But my question remains: how much information will Google collect from me if I disable all the controls in the privacy settings. Because the answer should be zero (other than Google Play Store).

    I don't have problem the advertising business model. My concern is Google's dominance - something like 90% of the Global smartphone market & the same for search.

    Edit: This article is a bit old, but more or less answers my questions...
    https://android.stackexchange.com/qu...d-how-do-i-opt
    I've been on Android for about 3 years now. I use Bing as my main search and Outlook.com as my main email. I haven't noticed Google in my life too much to be honest. But in the past year and a half, I have found Google Now to be very useful. Tracking my sports teams and my travel is very convenient so I've slowly have allowed the big G in my life. I don't find it intrusive at all, mostly only helpful.
    nmco9 likes this.
    11-09-2017 08:45 AM
  10. Wolfjt's Avatar
    True that they aren't spying to give your data away to some third party. False that they aren't spying to try and use your data to make money from advertisers that they shove at you.

    I don't want to be an ad sponge. I also don't want Google/Alphabet milking my activities for their own profit with the only benefit to me being that I pay $ for entry to begin with. Sure Android is "free" on paper but just having the code doesn't get you anything but some lines of code. You have to pay for the hardware and network to run it on.


    I'll start a club. People pay me to join and I'll have someone follow them around so I can sell their anonymized activities to whomever wants to buy them and get super rich doing it. Sounds great, don't it?

    There's a very good reason this gets asked about regularly that has nothing to do with paranoia. It's called not wanting to feel used and degraded into a commodity. Too many people just shrug their shoulders and accept it as "there's really no getting around it." For others it really sticks in their craw.

    Yes, these companies are all mining data. But how and why is important; as is what they do with the resultant info. So let's nip the "But (insert X) tracks your data too" straw man argument in the bud. We aren't discussing anyone except Google in here.

    I think you need a different outlook on things, so we clearly agree to disagree. You think I should just bend over and smile as they shove it in and I say no way, Jose.
    Nothing is free. If you want to use services that make your life a bit easier for travel and entertainment and those services are pretty much free, use it knowing they will use your data for ads. If not, go to Apple. Google isn't doing anything nafarious and underhanded. It's your choice of course.
    nmco9 likes this.
    11-09-2017 08:49 AM
  11. RumoredNow's Avatar
    It's your choice of course.
    Exactly. It's why I'm not going Apple either. I just flashed Sailfish X yesterday. Couldn't be more pleased.

    IMHO, consumers need and deserve more choices than the status quo offers. I paid €50 for the ROM to cover licensing and support fees and did it gladly knowing it is privacy forward and a dynamic UI. And while it will run Android apps, there is zero Play services involved so that's actually a plus in my book.
    Laura Knotek and Player Piano like this.
    11-09-2017 11:07 AM
  12. TgeekB's Avatar
    Exactly. It's why I'm not going Apple either. I just flashed Sailfish X yesterday. Couldn't be more pleased.

    IMHO, consumers need and deserve more choices than the status quo offers. I paid €50 for the ROM to cover licensing and support fees and did it gladly knowing it is privacy forward and a dynamic UI. And while it will run Android apps, there is zero Play services involved so that's actually a plus in my book.
    As long as it works for you, great. I think it’s probably extremely limited for many. I hope it, or something similar, catches on though. The more choices we have the better for the customer.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-09-2017 05:21 PM
  13. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Well with the China, Russia and South America projects (along with the Sony project, of course) it looks like Jolla might be onto a strategy that gives them some lasting viability vs going it strictly alone. They've got a few very large strategic partners now...
    11-09-2017 09:07 PM
  14. N1cks's Avatar
    Thebest way to drop google out of your android phone is flashing Linage OS(Cyanogenmod) without installing gapps.
    As an alternative for gapps see microg Project



    I’m currently playing with an old Note 3 running Linesage OS (Cynaogenmod's successor). I installed the nano Gapps package. It actually runs really well. But I won’t be doing this to a brand new Note 8 (if that’s what I end up buying). It’s too much work, and it breaks things like Samsung Pay (I’ve read).


    Tracking my sports teams and my travel is very convenient so I've slowly haveallowed the big G in my life. I don't find it intrusive at all, mostly onlyhelpful.


    I’m sure I’d find big G convenient too. I don’t even know why I care so much about competition in the search/mobile OS marketplace – because that’s my problem with Google, not the privacy bit.


    90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years! The ‘big data’ era is really just beginning.
    With Google controlling 90% of both mobile OS and internet search, my concern is they’ll end up becoming too powerful, and innovation will suffer. There has been many examples of Google giving preference to sites which they profit from. The EU courts recently handed down a fine in the billions (the largest ever). During the 2016 US election, Google was accused of messing with search algorithms to favour a candidate – though I hope this is false.

    On the flipside, there are benefits from Google’s data monopoly. The synergies of having all your contacts, search history, calendar, and locations on one platform makes a lot of sense. With economies of scale, Google can make information available to people across the world like never before. Google Maps & Google search are revolutionary in that sense. As long as Google is transparent with how they do things. I was actually quite impressed with Google’s privacy settings & their privacy dashbaord. You can see all the information Google collects. As long as when you pause something…. it’s actually pauses.

    If you’re using Bing and Outook.com on Android, and you’ve paused Gapps data collection – you might actually be costing Google money. Google lets OEM use Android for free on the bases they’ll benefit from data collection. And if Google benefits… then we all benefit… right?
    OEMs can make cheap smartphones for developing countries, thanks to Android being ‘free’. So, by pausing Gapp data collection, am I depriving the children of Africa a smartphone!?

    Heh, I’m clearly over thinking this. Maybe I’ll just get an iPhone X :P.
    Wolfjt, RumoredNow, TgeekB and 2 others like this.
    11-10-2017 01:29 AM
  15. Wolfjt's Avatar



    I’m currently playing with an old Note 3 running Linesage OS (Cynaogenmod's successor). I installed the nano Gapps package. It actually runs really well. But I won’t be doing this to a brand new Note 8 (if that’s what I end up buying). It’s too much work, and it breaks things like Samsung Pay (I’ve read).




    I’m sure I’d find big G convenient too. I don’t even know why I care so much about competition in the search/mobile OS marketplace – because that’s my problem with Google, not the privacy bit.


    90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years! The ‘big data’ era is really just beginning.
    With Google controlling 90% of both mobile OS and internet search, my concern is they’ll end up becoming too powerful, and innovation will suffer. There has been many examples of Google giving preference to sites which they profit from. The EU courts recently handed down a fine in the billions (the largest ever). During the 2016 US election, Google was accused of messing with search algorithms to favour a candidate – though I hope this is false.

    On the flipside, there are benefits from Google’s data monopoly. The synergies of having all your contacts, search history, calendar, and locations on one platform makes a lot of sense. With economies of scale, Google can make information available to people across the world like never before. Google Maps & Google search are revolutionary in that sense. As long as Google is transparent with how they do things. I was actually quite impressed with Google’s privacy settings & their privacy dashbaord. You can see all the information Google collects. As long as when you pause something…. it’s actually pauses.

    If you’re using Bing and Outook.com on Android, and you’ve paused Gapps data collection – you might actually be costing Google money. Google lets OEM use Android for free on the bases they’ll benefit from data collection. And if Google benefits… then we all benefit… right?
    OEMs can make cheap smartphones for developing countries, thanks to Android being ‘free’. So, by pausing Gapp data collection, am I depriving the children of Africa a smartphone!?

    Heh, I’m clearly over thinking this. Maybe I’ll just get an iPhone X :P.
    Hey, nothing wrong with thinking out loud. :) nice reply
    N1cks likes this.
    11-10-2017 08:56 AM
  16. Wolfjt's Avatar
    As long as it works for you, great. I think it’s probably extremely limited for many. I hope it, or something similar, catches on though. The more choices we have the better for the customer.
    The thing is with these third party ROMs is it opens your phone to hacks. If you're not getting apks from the play store you will never know if they are truly legit. Even the play store is open to attack in a fashion and they inspect all files. With everything in your life being on your phone, like banking and mobile payment I personally wouldn't want to open my phone up to that risk. Again, to each thier own.
    11-10-2017 09:44 AM
  17. RumoredNow's Avatar
    The thing is with these third party ROMs is it opens your phone to hacks. If you're not getting apks from the play store you will never know if they are truly legit.
    Just to be clear: Sailfish X is first party from Jolla in collaboration with the hardware maker, Sony, which helped with the drivers.

    Android Apps can be downloaded from long time Jolla partner Aptoide, which from my research seems to curate apps at least as hard as Google in terms of code scanning and malware detection. Also other highly trusted sources may be used such as Amazon's App market.

    Most "infections" target vulnerabilities in the Android code which subsequently need to be patched. I highly doubt the same exploitation of those vulnerabilities in Android would find purchase in Sailfish. Privacy concerns are of course a different matter and normal care helps keep them at bay as they abound even in the "trusted" atmosphere of Google Play.
    Wolfjt and ochhanz like this.
    11-10-2017 11:47 AM
  18. TgeekB's Avatar
    Just to be clear: Sailfish X is first party from Jolla in collaboration with the hardware maker, Sony, which helped with the drivers.

    Android Apps can be downloaded from long time Jolla partner Aptoide, which from my research seems to curate apps at least as hard as Google in terms of code scanning and malware detection. Also other highly trusted sources may be used such as Amazon's App market.

    Most "infections" target vulnerabilities in the Android code which subsequently need to be patched. I highly doubt the same exploitation of those vulnerabilities in Android would find purchase in Sailfish. Privacy concerns are of course a different matter and normal care helps keep them at bay as they abound even in the "trusted" atmosphere of Google Play.
    Thanks for the clarification. I think it was a good point though and something people have to be cognizant of. I wouldn’t mind playing around with Sailfish but I trust Apple more right now. In the end we each have to take care of our own security and privacy concerns.
    RumoredNow likes this.
    11-10-2017 01:52 PM
  19. ricardoccnp's Avatar
    I don't think it's a big deal but better to read more about it
    11-11-2017 07:23 AM
  20. a5cent's Avatar
    Yes, the big G is still spying.

    If you use an Android phone, there is literally nothing you can do to prevent that, no matter what you shut off and opt out of. You can limit some of it, but you can't get rid of it entirely.

    Much of Google's "spyware" is built into the system at a lower level. For example, you might decide not to use Google maps. Still, if you use a modern GPS app that accesses the location services that are baked into Google's mobile services API (i.e. most location aware apps), then your location data is being sent back to Google. In other words, it no longer matters whether you're using Google maps or some other GPS service or app, Google can and will track you either way.

    The recent changes Google made to their privacy policy is another indicator of what is going on. I think it was back in 2016 when Google granted themselves the right to log most information related to your phone calls. Who you call, when, how long, forwarding numbers, etc. This is the type of information intelligence agencies value very highly, as it gives them a very detailed description of who associates with whom. Google is likely using it for the same reasons, and they will find ways to monetize that information.

    I completely disagree with those who don't think this is a big deal. Google isn't really collecting data on you. That data is just the raw material. What they are actually building are detailed behavioral profiles. As companies are always under pressure to increase profits, it's only a matter of time before the profit motive drives Google to a point where they will use their profiles in ways that we'd currently deem inappropriate. Of course, by that time, that change (whatever it is) won't seem that much different from the situation that proceeded it, so again, few will care...just like people don't care about the situation today which would have been considered entirely inappropriate 10 years ago. It's a slippery slope we're on...

    In this regard people aren't much different than the parable of the frog who is happy to boil to death, provided the temperature is raised very gradually/slowly.
    11-12-2017 08:25 PM
  21. PerfectReign's Avatar
    Circling back to this....

    The best way to ensure Google isn't spying is to root your phone and install a custom ROM such as CyanogenMod or it's successor, LineageOS.

    https://lineageos.org/

    The only catch is you can't load GApps, which are needed for the Play Store, if you want to stay out of Google's watching eye. Of course without GApps you have to side load all your APK files.

    Sent from mTalk on my HP Elite X3
    a5cent likes this.
    11-12-2017 08:36 PM
  22. Guytronic's Avatar
    Gee...
    I wonder what the US government, Yahoo, Microsoft, my car or any credit rating service is doing with my volunteered data.
    11-12-2017 08:41 PM
  23. CrockettGTO's Avatar
    Spying is probably not the right term since technically, the user must agree to the Google TOS to use an Android phone, basically granting permission.
    Wolfjt and xandros9 like this.
    11-12-2017 11:09 PM
  24. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Gee...
    I wonder what the US government, Yahoo, Microsoft, my car or any credit rating service is doing with my volunteered data.
    Most are happy eating a sausage, few care to see how it is made...
    11-13-2017 09:40 AM
  25. Wolfjt's Avatar
    Spying is probably not the right term since technically, the user must agree to the Google TOS to use an Android phone, basically granting permission.
    You are correct, spying is completely the wrong word. If people are fearful of data being collected then just go to Apple. Cyanogen Mod is one way to go, but you will miss out on all the good Google services. Maps being the main one. If you have Facebook or Twitter then your data is already being collected. In fact, Facebook will know more about you than Google will. Anyone who thinks you'll be anonymous by not using Google is fooling themselves.
    11-13-2017 10:04 AM
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