Avoid Google spying?

Hi, I’m a happy customer of Republic Wireless for the past few years.

I am concerned about Google, though - spying and so on.

Is it possible to shut off Google apps / deny access to microphone and still use Android?
Is it possible to use RW’s phones without Android in some way?

Not really. Android = Google so it would a bit like trying to use an iPhone without Apple, not really possible. You can deny microphone permissions to certain apps but you’ll lose the ability to voice type, etc. If you want true security, Registered Mail is about your only choice because even on a flip phone your calls are routed through multiple networks that can potentially be spied on, your data is stored and could be breeched, etc etc.

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Here’s A Guide to Using Android Without Selling Your Soul to Google. I wouldn’t recommend doing this, but if you want to make your life more difficult here you go:

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Yes and no. The only authorized means of acquiring Republic’a app is via Google’s Play Store. While I’m confident, it’s available at alternate app repositories, it’s not there with Republic’s authorization. One also needs to ask themselves the question; are the folks running various alternate app repositories more trustworthy than Google?

I’d also point out the articles referenced in the initial post mention Google’s Home devices rather than Android. I’m not so naive to believe that Google can’t and doesn’t use Android as a means to gather information.

The reality is we give up a substantial degree of privacy merely by stepping outside. Cameras (if not listening devices) are literally everywhere.

Finally, if it helps at all, I personally know someone who has transcribed the snippets mentioned in these articles. Google’s not lying when they say no personally identifiable information is supplied to the folks transcribing these snippets although it remains possible those being recorded might mention something personally identifiable in the snippet itself. For what it’s worth, she tells me, generally, the content of these snippets is so mundane she has difficulty staying focused and, therefore, Google might not be getting everything it thinks it’s paying for in terms of the quality of these transcriptions.

I’m not attempting to minimize privacy concerns. That said, the only way to have truly robust privacy these days is to remain totally off the grid (and probably not venture outdoors publicly either).

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