@jokeyrhyme@lemmy.ml
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218 hilabete

If we get behavioural advertising banned everywhere, then there will be no profit in collecting this data, and Google will stop doing it: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2022/03/ban-online-behavioral-advertising

Let’s get back to advertising based only on current context, and eliminate the entire business model based on tracking our behaviour over time

@rhymepurple@lemmy.ml
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38 hilabete

While I would love to see this for many reasons, I’m not convinced it would eliminate all tracking/data collection on its own. For example, in this case Google provided seemingly good, “non-advertising” related reasons for this data collection. Companies could do this to justify just about anything that they wanted to collect. However, banning behavorial based advertising without any loopholes (eg - users are in South America, servers are in EU, but the law only impacts services where both users and servers are in North America) would hopefully lead to a sharp decline in the market of shared/sold data. So while it would help change the current landscape where we are giving up our privacy in exchange for companies’ profits, we would be giving up our privacy for (presumably better) services. In that case, at least consumers are (ideally) able to directly benefit from the data that they are sharing/giving up.

Helix 🧬
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68 hilabete

How can I stop this?

Stop using google, disable JavaScript, use privacy browsers, use a VPN + adblock, but then there’s always your phone. I use graphene os, but dumb phones too.

I mean that’s what I’m doing, maybe its not enough, maybe its a lot of overkill but yeah I’m trying to degoogle my life and its difficult

@rhymepurple@lemmy.ml
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118 hilabete

While all good points, they don’t specifically address the problems mentioned in the post.

Douglas Leith, a computer science professor at the Trinity College Dublin, claims in his “What Data Do The Google Dialer and Messages Apps on Android Send to Google?” paper that Google’s Messages and Dialer apps have been sending data to the company’s servers without taking explicit user consent. More specifically, these apps collect information about user communications, including an SHA256 hash of the messages and their timestamp, phone numbers, incoming and outgoing call logs, call duration, and length. This is then shared with Google’s servers using Google Play Services Clearcut logger service and the Firebase Analytics service. The data helps the company link the message sender and receiver and/or the two devices in the call, enabling features like spam filtering and business caller IDs. - similar report from Android Police

The quickest/easiest thing to do to mitigate any risks from the accusations is to just use a more privacy friendly SMS app and phone app. However, doing so may lead to some unwanted outcomes (eg - no RCS, loss of phone call functionality that Google has implemented over the years) and it may not eliminate Google’s ability to collect this information anyway due to Google Play Services. These are small prices to pay and aren’t difficult to adjust to if you’re concerned with Google abusing or mishandling your data.

An even better quick win would be using private and secure messenging, calling, and video chatting services instead of traditional SMS and phone calls. There have been a few mentioned in the thread. Doing so may be frustrating as you’ll have to convince everyone you communicate with to use the app(ss of your choosing and you’ll likely run into situations where using those apps are not possible (eg - school/work activities, interacting with businesses, etc.).

Aside from not using a cell phone at all, the best thing you could do is ditch traditional Android (ie - Android with Google Play Services, the Google Play Store, etc.). Moving to iOS may help mitigate Google’s data collection ability, but it shifts the risk from Google to Apple. Instead, as /u/Jouissance_juice mentioned, using GrapheneOS would help tremendously with the recent accusations (in addition many other privacy and security risks). The downside is that it requires a Pixel phone and it can be a bit of a jarring experience for people who ate used to the ttraditional “Google” Android experience. There are other ROMs (eg - CalyxOS, LineageOS, etc.) that may offer a less jarring experience at the expense of a (possibly only a little bit of) security and privacy. Keep in mind that even if you do this and still communicate over SMS and traditional phone calls that the carriers and others (including Google if the other person you’re communicating with uses Android) will still be able to access most of the information as before you made the change. You would still need to move to a private and secure communication app to mitigate your privacy concerns as much as possible.

Helix 🧬
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58 hilabete

Thank you a lot for the extensive und thorough answer which is not just “abolish Google, raid their headquarters and delete your data yourself”. It actually helps me. I know I could use GrapheneOS and remove everything Google from my life, but then again, there are certain apps I really need, which don’t work without Google even if you try really hard. For example my transport tickets would be 20% more expensive if I didn’t use the local transport authority’s app, Signal is only distributed through the Play Store etc. etc. – what’s even worse is, that these apps wouldn’t even need the Play Services if the developers really wanted it.

just use a more privacy friendly SMS app and phone app.

I use LineageOS, so I guess the integrated SMS and phone apps don’t do this?

better quick win would be using private and secure messenging, calling, and video chatting services

Also a good recommendation, thanks.

Most of my communication is through Matrix, Signal and Mail and I’m using encrypted phone calls through Signal and Matrix, so at least I’m somewhat safe from Google in that regard. Of course I still hemorrhage metadata, but privacy is not an all-or-nothing situation like many privacy evangelists shout into the void.

@rhymepurple@lemmy.ml
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58 hilabete

what’s even worse is, that these apps wouldn’t even need the Play Services if the developers really wanted it.

Yeah, that is really frustrating. Google’s stranglehold encompasses end users, phone manufacturers, and any company/developer creating an Android app (or even iOS app due to Firebase and other Google services). I hope that we all can start breaking free of Google without having to compromise as much as we currently have to.

I use LineageOS, so I guess the integrated SMS and phone apps don’t do this?

Based on what I’ve seen, using those apps should address the recent accusations/findings. Doesn’t mean that the same or similar thing isn’t happening through Google Play Services though. It also still exposes privacy risks due to the nature of SMS and network phone call infrastructure.

Of course I still hemorrhage metadata, but privacy is not an all-or-nothing situation like many privacy evangelists shout into the void.

I get that Matrix isn’t perfect, but I’m not sure I understand the amount of backlash it sometimes receives. Hopefully it can continue to improve by addressing those concerns.

@rauba_code@lemmy.ml
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48 hilabete

Turned off Google Play Services and Google Play Store since the purchase of a new smartphone & set up F-Droid. Everything just works with much less storage space used (for some reason most proprietary apps from Play store usually come together with ~200 MB of bloatware). I tried to flash a custom ROM, as Sony provides instructions for that, but the build is failing, and I don’t want to sacrifice the proprietary Sony image-enhancing algorithms. So I’m just sticking with the Google Android but no Play Services option.

@altair222@beehaw.org
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18 hilabete

Which Sony phone is it, if i may ask? Haven’t seen much Sony in a while

@rauba_code@lemmy.ml
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8 hilabete

Sony Xperia 5 II

@Edo_Secco@lemmy.ml
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58 hilabete

My father is Mayor in a small town; some months ago they bought a phone (a Redmi) for the institutional phone number of the Municipality. You can imagine how many Google apps I had to uninstall… G-call, G-messages, G-contacts… well then I installed all alternative apps, no Google account on a municipality phone!

@Decentralizer@lemmy.ml
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38 hilabete

The question is even you removed the apps (via agb) or freeze it, what other apps calling home and what apps can communicate to each other, then sending data to google

@Edo_Secco@lemmy.ml
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38 hilabete

You are absolutely right. Removing Google apps and not entering a Google account on the phone are only a part of what can be done.

@d1tt0@lemmy.ml
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@altair222@beehaw.org
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58 hilabete

Also matrix, also threema, also if you wanna go hardcore: session

@blkpws@lemmy.ml
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38 hilabete

You need google to download Signal in an official way, and still you will use Google push notifications.

@Decentralizer@lemmy.ml
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28 hilabete

You can download signal via APK on signal.org/android/apk or my personal pick use molly.im what is a Foss fork of signal with some extra features

@blkpws@lemmy.ml
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8 hilabete

Signal must be on F-Droid to get updates automatically, I’m not going to go to their webpage to manually install it on each update… Molly also says they use Google stuff.

Molly, like Signal, uses Google’s proprietary code to support some features.

@Decentralizer@lemmy.ml
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18 hilabete

The update gets pushed directly to signal, once installedyour do not need to go to a website yo update

@blkpws@lemmy.ml
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18 hilabete

That’s a good way to update but still uses google proprietary code as Molly is warning.

@Tiuku@sopuli.xyz
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28 hilabete

It’s really a shame that they haven’t put up a libre version in Fdroid.

@rauba_code@lemmy.ml
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38 hilabete

There was an attempt to make LibreSignal fork without Google’s ‘Play’ services, and Signal chief suspended the project telling it’s a violation to use Signal backend with unofficial Signal forks. https://github.com/LibreSignal/LibreSignal That’s a shame, really. Even Telegram with its closed-source backend allows people to use it with unofficial clients. There is another fork of Signal, Session. But I haven’t heard anything about it for a while. So I suggest to consider for some alternative to Signal. Matrix gang rise up.

@Edo_Secco@lemmy.ml
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8 hilabete

There is a regularly mantained Signal-FOSS version, I use it: https://www.twinhelix.com/apps/signal-foss/ It has a F-Droid repository to be added.

@blkpws@lemmy.ml
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28 hilabete

If you want to know the reason, here is the issue on their git source code: https://github.com/signalapp/Signal-Android/issues/127

@MarcellusDrum@lemmy.ml
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28 hilabete

Considering that we are on Lemmy, I think advocating a centralized service is a bit ironic. Matrix is the way.

A place to discuss privacy and freedom in the digital world.

Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.

In this community everyone is welcome to post links and discuss topics related to privacy.

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