Learn about the privacy of your smartphone and how your privacy is at risk. The big offenders, how they use your data and how to take back your privacy. Continue reading →
The modern age of the internet has brought constant access to everything we may want to see or know, at a huge cost to privacy. When we discuss privacy in this sense, it is not so much that a hacker has access to your information, but your information is being collected and used by the very company you are trusting to protect you.
As it stands there are only two major operating systems for phones, iOS and Android made by Apple and Google respectively. There are many other smaller operating systems, but these two giants own more than 99% of the market space. If you are buying a new phone from any major brand, you are getting Android or iOS. While both Google and Apple are responsible for the capturing and usage of your data, they go about the process in different ways.
For the most part, most people either don’t understand or just don’t care. Besides, a few targeted ads in exchange for the use of a great operating system doesn’t sound like a bad deal. One of the biggest reasons this is concerning is the claimed sale of your personal data.
At the moment, Google does not sell your data directly. Google uses the data to find what adverts would best be presented to you and then sells the advertising slot knowing that you are the best likely customer. The only time in which your data leaves the hand of Google is when ordered by a court or policing unit. If you are a lead suspect in a crime, Google may be forced to give police access to your location data under a “geofence warrant”. For the average law-abiding citizen, this is of no concern, so you can play Android games and do whatever else you choose with peace of mind.
For the majority of people, the way Google uses our data is not a large concern. If you do feel that you are concerned about this and want to better protect your online privacy, there are a number of options available to you.
To take back your privacy means breaking away from Google and the software supplied by Google. To do this, there are two main options. Either, you can buy a phone which is built for privacy with an open-source operating system like the Purism Librem 5, or you could flash an existing android phone and install an operating system like Plasma Mobile, Lineage OS, or Ubuntu Touch. The latter option will require some tech know-how but is a great and free option to better secure your online privacy.
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