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John

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"Best brains"/LJ wikipedia... [Aug. 27th, 2012|12:26 pm]
John
So, I've just bought (by which I mean, I bought it a month ago) a prepaid smartphone. (If you ever need to get an inkling of what chronic fatigue is like, think about that: I bought a nifty-keen dual core Android smartphone, and have basically left it idle for a month, because I never had goof-off time to play with it!) (Okay, yes, I did download Angry Birds because it's a cultural icon and I felt obligated. I thought there was a Snooki bird that was considered a bit trashy - or is that *another* cultural icon that I'm missing?)

Now, me, I'm a private person. I don't want to trust Google not to figure out from my e-mail and G+ posts that I like to wear a fluffy powder-blue tutu and dance around my room late at night. (Not true - powder blue doesn't seem to go with my coloring, and my room is *far* too cluttered and... oh, heh, yeah, no tutu either.) (Dancing around sans tutu - i.e., naked? Why would *that* embarrass me?)

Where was I? Oh, yeah.

It's an Android smart phone, and from what I can tell that means that "contacts" apps are "apps that sync with and present GMail contacts in a particular way. "Mail" is, of course, presumed to be Gmail. And I imagine I'm expected to sign in with Google to be able to use all of their wonderful tools to make my life easier, and so forth.

Well...

I figure that I should be able to create a new GMail account for the phone, put my contacts in there, and so forth. But now it's looking like if I want apps, I have to link my identity to the phone. The Google apps store is, I'm guessing, run by gmail account, and, of course, that will include my credit card information, which links to me, and therefore, my life.

Does anyone out there have any suggestions for minimizing my footprint? Or should I just not bother because the carrier will sell enough information to link me to everything?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: txanne
2012-08-27 08:05 pm (UTC)
So far I've stuck to free apps. My phone asks me if I want to link contacts--usually Twitter, Gmail, phone (you can do Facebook but I do NOT want that on my phone no way no how). I always say "nope, don't link that." Firefox was the first app I added, and then I found plugins to clear history, cookies, etc.
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[User Picture]From: marypcb
2012-08-28 05:37 pm (UTC)
sacrificial gmail account or switch to a different phone OS - Google hardwires things to your Gmail account
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[User Picture]From: wyang
2012-09-01 01:50 pm (UTC)

footprint minimization

Look at how you're planning to use your phone.

I use mine primarily for e-mail (which I run independently of gmail), calendar (which I do on Google), maps (which I link to my google account so that I can create maps on my desktop and use the phone for navigation), Kindle (which uses an Amazon account) and media playing (which I buy from Amazon or rip from my CD collection).

I do have a credit card linked to the google account (so that I can buy apps) and to my amazon account (for the same reason).

Others have suggested that giving up on privacy is impractical -- I suspect that's at least partially true, if you're going to use social media systems or avail yourself of internet services. Minimizing the attack surface is largely driven by being aware of what information is out there about you, and looking at the consequences of certain new data becoming available.

Given that smart phones have all kinds of spyware systems in place (location, messaging patterns, and in some cases even actual copies of messages that get leaked to third party analysis companies), using one increases your footprint. But I'm not sure that the cost of minimizing your footprint outweighs the benefits that at least I'm realizing as a result of not doing so....

It's really going to come down to your objectives and what value you perceive/realize from the various services.

-Bill
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