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Stay strong and resist the force!

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Google is forcing Apps to force you to use Google!

That’s nothing new, but they are finding new and new ways to do it.

In physics every force has an equal and opposite counterforce.
If the laws of nature - like gravity - stop applying to big companies then who will bring them back down to earth?

Let us be Google’s counterforce! Now is the time to start/continue #livingwogoogle in spite!
Ok so for a while (until the great girls and guys at XDA and microg find ways again to trick apps to believe you have Google and no root on your system) you will not be able to use Pokemon GO and whatsapp. So what?
Finally get your friends to switch to XMPP and you can use an app that looks and feels exactly like whatsapp, except it respects your privacy and freedom.
And when you go for a walk, take a look at nature instead of a screen that tells you not to play Pokemon GO while trespassing!

Make the switch to Freedom now. You’ll feel much better, I promise!
If you need help living without Google on the FP1 or FP2 I’m happy to provide it to you.

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Aren’t you alienating a part of your userbase by posting these kinds of things?

I’ve always felt that the deal with Google is clear; they provide largely excellent, easy to use services in exchange for access to your (meta)data. I’ve always retorted to people complaining about Google’s thirst for data that you don’t HAVE to use their services, there are plenty of alternatives. Only, they don’t work as well, do they? I’ve used a couple of search engines in the past but none come close to Google in terms of relevance.

Aside from that; I’ve never, ever been confronted by annoying personalized ads, unwelcome messages or data leaks originating from Google. In fact, Google was offering two-factor authentication back when Facebook didn’t even have SSL enabled on its login form. Google also provides extensive insight into what exactly they know about you and they were the first to ask me what they should do with my data when I pass away.

In short, I’m really really tired with people bashing Google simply because they want their cake and eat it too. If you really believe that Google is the opposite of Freedom, why did you guys start out with Android in the first place?

I have bought a new Samsung Galaxy S7, mainly because of the lack of updates for my FP1, but also because I could no longer identify with its userbase. My FP1 is used by my mother now, who is quite content with it by the way. But me? I feel like I’ve left a cult. Posts like these reinforce that feeling.

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@Teejoow, the community moderators are what they are called, namely community moderators. We don’t work for Fairphone and only express our personal opinion in this great place called community forum.

At least you could use encrypted.google.com: https://www.quora.com/What-is-encrypted-google-com

Well I’ve come across search results that didn’t offer me any value because Google just thought it knew better than me what I wanted to search (and probably buried the valuable information on the 10th page).

I’m happy to keep Google out of my phone (as happy as I would be if I could throw Microsoft out of my Windows). It’s not good if companies get too powerful and even more powerful than governments. I just don’t want them to think for me. I want to make my own decisions!

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TL;DR:

  • Why do you get a service “for free” while the service provider invests huge amounts of money to maintain that service?
  • Google does good in some aspects, but at the same time its power makes it dangerous.
  • Data is knowledge, knowledge is power and power will always be used - usually for the worse.

Long version:

You may for instance use StartPage. It’s more or less a proxy which simply forwards your queries to Google and returns you the result. Since Google receives the queries from a StartPage server (and not your PC), the results could slightly differ since Google can’t plant cookies in your browser and track your behavior.

There are two aspects which should not be mixed together:

Google creates benefits

Google does in fact a lot of stuff that is benefits the internet and the technical world in general. They do lots of experiments, just to find out whether it’s worth going that way or not. They release a lot of their software projects under very free open-source licenses, like Android (Apache/GNU), AngularJS (MIT) or their JavaScript Engine V8 (BSD). And since data are their foundation, they are very sophisticated in protecting that data.

Google has power

Way more than 90% of all search queries are done through Google. Google is a monopolist. Not because they are the only one, but because the alternatives have no influence on the monopolist. When in the history of mankind has a monopoly played out well in the long run?

Since almost everyone uses Google Search, Google can easily manipulate “everyone” into thinking what they want them to think, by simply filtering the search results in a certain way. Be it a company, a government or a secret service - anything with such a monopoly on the people’s access to information is dangerous.

And who says that only because something is forbidden, it won’t be done? Like trading data on the black market? I am almost certain that data krakens like Google illegally trade data, because there are lots of companies (banks, ensurence companies etc.) that will pay well for data which helps them evaluate the “risk” of certain customers or customer groups.

Google has an incredible infrastructure which they mostly keep their secret so nobody really knows what capabilities they really have. They process an utterly vast amount of data with some of the most intelligent algorithms in the world. They even build their own power plants to ensure they always have full control over their server infrastructure.

People who don’t understand how valuable user data really is, are probably the same people who don’t believe that advertisement has an influence on them, whether they like it or not.

Just ask yourself why a company should spend millions of dollars/euros on seemingly useless efforts like advertisement or processing user data? Ask yourself why you can use so many services seemingly for free (even without ads, as you mentioned yourself), while the service provider invests millions and billions to maintain them? Where does the money come from if not from usage fees?

Data is knowledge and knowledge is power and power is what it’s all about. If you ever had even a small amout of power and were foced to share it, how willingly did you do so? And if history taught us something about power, then that it will always be used - and usually for the worse.

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They work just as good and usually use up about a tenth of the battery and CPU.

That makes Google about as much of a leader in questions of security as the fact that Syria had a president long before North-Korea makes them a model democracy.

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I could say a lot here (agreeing to this post), but leave it to a quick practical response: XMPP is great and you can run it on a computer as well (this does not work with WhatsApp and without a phone). However, you can use WhatsApp without google. The app can be downloaded from their webpage and works and updates (at least on my FP OpenOS). I know WhatsApp is not FOSS, but maybe the ability to run it on FP Open helps people to switch.

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So, to avoid Google, you’re using a search page that googles your search for you. You’re only proving @Teejoow has a valid point here :wink:

I too try to be conscious and decide every time if a certain loss of privacy is worth a certain (free) service. In many of these cases, I choose for the free service. Not only because I don’t have to pay (money, I know I pay in data), but often because the service is very convenient or simply better than the competitors.

Personally, I don’t really mind if advertisements are linked to a search I made, or not. I avoid looking at this website-pollution as much as possible. So I see this as a quite low cost.
On the other hand, I don’t want all my data and personal information to be in the hands of one company. It just doesn’t feel comfortable.

So, while I certainly understand people want to be as Google-free as possible, it reminds me a lot of the Micro$oft-hate before: everyone was typing they hated Microsoft… on a Windows-pc. If it’s that important for you, then don’t use it at all. Don’t use a Windows-pc. Don’t use Android, GMail, Google and other Alphabet-services. The open source or free services Google provides, are paid for with the advertisements and data others “pay” to Google. So, using the free services and complaining about the data-tracking as payment for the other services, seems a little bit hypocrite to me.

That said, let it be clear that I don’t love Google that much. Monopolies are never a good thing. But I’m quite convinced they will eventually meet the same fate as Microsoft. Still a big company, of course. But not really the big, mean frontrunner-company it used to be :slight_smile: Partially thanks to the European Commission, who also started a procedure against Google some time ago!

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I’m neither saying that I use StartPage, nor that Google’s results are bad. The concern about Google is its data collection, not its quality. I doubt this discussion would exist if Google wouldn’t collect user data on such a massive scale. But they’d probably not have been able to improve their algorithms as they did, nor would they be as big as they are today.

Do you know what happens if you put a human into space without a space suit? Theories on that changed more than once during my 26 years of lifetime. We don’t know for sure. Why? Because our ethics forbid such experiments, even though we’re capable of doing so.

What that means is, not everything that can be done has to be done. Just because we could improve technology more quickly by removing everybody’s privacy or prevent almost all crime by removing everybody’s freedom, doesn’t mean we should do so.

That’s what it all comes down to. In my opinion, it’s not about “for or against”, “everything or nothing”, “left or right”. Life is about making compromises between benefits, costs and dangers. Make yourself aware of the implication of your decision and THEN decide what you want to do.

But that’s exactly what many people lack. They think in short terms and don’t understand the long term implications of their actions, not to speak of the worth of “big data”.

Shamelessly repeating myself:

(Plus, ads and tracker scripts are unnecessary traffic which massively sometimes slow down page loading. And if adas are animated, they are just annoying.)

Why? I mean, can you explain that feeling to yourself?

I make a very clear distinction between free (as “no money needed”) and open-source. I trust open-source software much more than free closed-source software, because a software creator must be very naive if they published their code with all its spyware and backdoors and believed, noone will ever find these.

Agreed.

Microsoft might not be a monopolist anymore, but they still have an influence strong enough to set standards. Did you notice how some websites changed their design to meet the new flat and sharp-edged Windows 8 design?

Windows 8 was released in October 2012. Have a look at Godaddy.com at that time and what they looked like in July 2013 (notice the difference in the buttons).

Even Google adapted their logo. That’s what it looked like in October 2012. Then in November 2013 they flattened it (removed the shadows) and in October 2015 they completely redesigned it to its current shape.

Never mind about google bashing. Google is big enough to stand this :wink: But … when I think about my family especially my 87 year good old father who also already depend on his smartphone ? He couldnot use it effectively without google. The same with my sisters and my partner (my brother fortunately lives google-free like me :-). Although I am senior informatics I can’t help to recommend others google if they are not interessted or skilled to spend so much time with electronic devices. I tried the same with a movement about encrypting mail in general. Everybody understands the need by public media but they still speak the truth when saying that mail encryption in general is too complicated. From point of view of a movement avoiding google is a bit similiar like private mail encryption. Most people expect this to be offered by bigger providers. Can you imagine how another big comercial provider could offer beeing google free ?

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It in fact depends on the usecase and skill of the user. I agree that many things are not widely used because people consider it complicated, having said that sometimes “complicated” could be replaced by “not as comfortable as possible”. Like, people store passwords in their browser, because they don’t want to remember them or bother with a password-safe or key-chain. I understand that it’s slow and annoying to type passwords on a smartphone, but on a PC, it takes less 3 seconds.

But it’s a similar problem with e-mail encryption. As long as people can’t simply hit a button which says “encrypt all my e-mails” (like Posteo with their “force TLS” button), they mostly won’t bother taking the effort, because it makes no difference to their eyes.

When you want to avoid Google, but want StreetView, you can’t win, because afaik there’s no other service providing something like StreetView. But if you want satellite footage, there are alternatives for Google Maps, like here.com, mapquest.com or (of course) Bing Maps.

And for “plain” maps, I’m all for OpenStreetMap, which is based on OpenLayers. I worked with the Google Maps API for the past year and I just started to work with the OpenLayers API. My first impression is that it’s not only more powerful than the Google Maps API, but also more efficient and easier to use!

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There is Mapillary (Wikipedia).

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I didn’t know about Mapillary, thanks for the heads-up. Though I guess we can agree that Mapillary is not even close to the quality of Google StreetView, right? :wink:

I like the project though - mapping the world with photos using Crowdsourcing.

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Could we all agree to - instead of “free” and “free” - use “gratis” and “libre”?

Since gratis is never really gratis as it’s either payed for another way or it’s worthless or both, I think calling any of Google’s services “free” is wrong on any level.

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Is “libre” an official english word? I like the wording “free software”.

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But how long will your Galaxy receive updates? And Samsung - is another firm that regularly gets hard criticism for poor working conditions from ‘China Labour Watch’… If I was to choose between a ‘cult of fairness’ and a ‘cult of money’ - I would not go for the money. And as for user data concerns: f.i. a few years back, Google bought here in the Netherlands member data from the dutch Chamber of Commerce - among them also my girlfriends data (home address, private telephone numbers…) - and published them in g-maps as ‘places’ of businesses. WTF!? We found this out by pure coincidence, and then my girl friend had a hard time to get these data erased.

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Maybe because you never came across startpage - it states to be the most private search engine available (filtering and encrypting all search request data before passing it on to g***le) My no. 1 since years.

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So, basically it is Google. You just strengthen the point made by @Teejoow. So far, I also never found a search engine that works better than Google, without using Google itself to make me feeling better. And yes, I use Ecosia.

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Repeating myself:


Life is about making compromises. You always have to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages (and dangers) and decide, which overweighs in your opinion.

For instance, you can’t have a phone with the hardware and price of a Galaxy S7 and the ethical standards of a Fairphone. At least one of these three values will lack in favor the others. Same goes for Google’s search result accuracy vs. Google’s data collection policy and the threat that comes with it.


There you go. Probably not the “best” search engine in terms of result accuracy (having said that I haven’t used Ecosia yet), but they definitely have a better attitude than Google does.
:slight_smile::+1:

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This was a response to [quote=“Patrick1, post:17, topic:22002”]
[I’ve used a couple of search engines in the past but none come close to Google in terms of relevance.]

Maybe because you never came across startpage - it states to be the most private search engine available (filtering and encrypting all search request data before passing it on to g***le) My no. 1 since years.
[/quote]
So no, I do not oppose your point of view. Rather the opposite. There is a huge trade-off, and it’s all about making compromises.

But I agree with @Teejoow when he remarks Google is almost treated like there is nothing good about it. And that’s simply not true: their products are very good. This doesn’t make them a “good” company of course, but there should be some restraint when using words as the title “stay strong and resist the force”, I think :slight_smile:

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