Thanks for your welcome, everybody!
Just so you know, I have the Google Galaxy Nexus, running on the Wind Network in Canada.
Originally Posted by Digital Controller
You can very well do this actually.
I know people use Gmail accounts as dead accounts to basically just download applications but nothing else, while blocking all Google services on their device and use the default email application.
You can also install certain firewalls and such that block and withhold your privacy further
This is what annoys me. Google could have offered to create an export file with your contacts list, settings and app data with the option to upload it online for your convenience. But they insist that you send them this very data and they're storing the info of hundreds of millions of Android phones at great expense out of the goodness of their heart and desire to live up to their corporate motto?
I don't think so.
Android is supposedly about choice, and google gives you choices like how your wallpaper should be and whether you can a five or six icon row. But you don't really have a choice to not send them your data, do you? You need a google account just to turn on your phone. Odd that they don't offer you the right to use a third party for this. No, only google must have access to your data.
And on the Galaxy Nexus, just like most of google's phones, there is no memory slot. Their philosophy seems to be that local storage is bad; let the people send everything to us and store everything on our servers. Am I being paranoid here? Maybe, but there's a pattern here. And they're building ChromeOS in the same vein, with everything running through google's servers.
From my limited experience with Android, you don't seem choices about anything that matters. Relative to Apple, you have plenty of choice, but its superficial and only gives you an illusion of choice.
Originally Posted by mikedt
Want an Android phone free from Google's influence? Come here, we've got millions of them.
By the way your carrier can see everything you're doing with your phone as well, there's no privacy. Want privacy? Don't use a cell-phone.
I know my carrier sees a lot of what I do, but perhaps I can get around some of it with a VPN? The world seems to be collecting data on individuals. Governments certainly are, and businesses like Google and Facebook makes billions selling what they know about you. Is it wrong to not want people to be compiling databases on me?
The Nazis were able to do so much damage with just the records of your ancestry. If things go south, what can they do with all the information that you've voluntarily given up? We've given them a ton of personal info to hang us with.
It's sad, because if the government were to pass a law mandating surveillance of your internet service and life, we'd be up in arms. But if someone offers us a shiny gadget and the chance to play farmville, we rush to give up our privacy to get our hands on it.
Originally Posted by Mostly Harmless
I really never understood why anyone would want to take the Google out of Android. Google is Android and their services are what makes Android run seamless throughout the day. When I sign into my Google account from any Android device the following automatically happens:
-contacts get sync'ed up
-gmail gets sync'ed up
-music library gets sync'ed up
-book library (including spots I left off) are sync'ed up from each device
-bookmarks are sync'ed up
-webpages across any chrome browser where I am signed in is sync'ed up
-apps are sync'ed up
I am really not trying to be rude but why buy into Android if you don't trust Google? Google is the company who gave us this great operating system.
I trust Microsoft more with my personal data than with I do Google. Microsoft has software products that they sell to make their profts. Google makes money by selling what they know about me. That makes me uncomfortable.
Note how many times you sent your personal information to Google in that list you gave me? That's what they sell. You're okay with it but some people don't like giving away such personal information so that others can sell it.
Indulge my paranoia please, but tell me in history, how often has this kind of information been used against the individual? We live in a peaceful part of the world that has not known outright repression in decades or centuries, but the past is no guarantor of the future. The future might be a bleak dystopia where the personal information you gave away will come back to haunt you, but that doesn't have to happen for you to realise that privacy is an important right. Giving out personal information to a corporation that makes money off it is never a good idea.
I like open source, so I want Android, but I don't want to pay for it the way google wants. Paying $10,000 for an iphone might be cheaper in the long run when you consider what google wants in return for a free OS.
Originally Posted by bigdrew
Regardless of what ROM or phone you have, your carrier, email provider, and ISP are logging all of your activity--texts, emails, phone calls, location via towers, web sites visited and so forth. That data is being retained for your government to access when it chooses, or a hacker to break into. I'm a fairly private person myself, but this is honestly a losing battle for you.
Also, my understanding has been that Google matches your profile to advertisers internally rather than selling the data to third parties, which is the opposite of what credit agencies do.
Well, I can surrender and willingly give up my privacy. But I'm not going to do that. I want to minimize the information others collect on me.
I want the option of choosing what happens to my personal information. I don't want to be forced into service with or give up my personal info to a multi-national corporation just to use the general purpose PC in my pocket.
I'd like some real choice, not just choice over the superficial. I want control over my phone despite what Google wants me to do. If I can't choose to take Google out of Android, does Android really offer any choice? Is it any freer than iOS? Apple may dictate to me my OS experience, but so far as I know, it isn't going Big Brother on me. By my measure, Android may offer less choice.
I want an open source OS that doesn't spy on me.
I have a Galaxy Nexus. Are there any custom ROMs that focus on user security and privacy? If not, would anyone be interested in starting one? I'm not a programmer, but I'd help however I could.