20 February 2018

Smartphones are nice, right?

They let you Do Stuff™, and you can even convert your entire social life to be run entirely via Google’s servers!


Well, according to a recent investigation by the Tucker Carlson clan, it turns out Google is hoovering up far more data than previously thought.

So, I finally decided to take the plunge: I’ve switched to a dumbphone, and I’ve never been happier…

Tuckered Out by Google

You can watch the Tucker Carlson Tonight video here:


Or here:


If that’s not enough to make you switch, I’m not sure what is.

The Deal

It turns out that your phone is vacuuming up data – including barometric pressure, if you’re on foot or in a car, and precise location data – even when the phone has no SIM card and is in airplane mode.

Well, we knew it was bad… But not that bad!

Even airplane mode won’t save you. In fact, in their investigation, airplane mode somehow resulted in the test phone collecting even more data.

That’s not surprising, because we’ve all heard the stories… Phones listening in on conversations and the person seeing an ad later for something mentioned at dinner, iOS giving update notifications even when the iPhone is in airplane mode, etc.

So, I switched to a Cat B30 dumbphone.

3G, no WiFi, no GPS, no countless fancy sensors, and the phone’s OS is a proprietary non-smartphone OS.

Of course, I’ll still use my smartphone for making videos, and both phones fit nicely into my Better Faraday Box.

Best of all, the Cat B30 only costs about $70, is waterproof, dustproof, and can survive a drop from a height of 1.8m.

Did I mentioned it’s also a dumbphone?

Why I ditched my smartphone
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6 thoughts on “Why I ditched my smartphone

  • 20 February 2018 at 17:22

    I never wanted to get conned into buying a smart phone. After all, isn’t it supposed to be a PHONE. Dumb phones can even maintain a rudimentary calendar, which I find helpful. The first thing I do with a new dumb phone is to turn off anything feature that utilizes GPS.

    Many don’t remember pay phones. Used to be the only way to phone home when traveling. You made calls only when there was important information to share.

    My tablet can provide all of the other features available, but only when WiFi is available. Which is just fine with me.

    • 20 February 2018 at 17:45

      I miss pay phones! I wish I could find an old one, hack it, and stick it on my wall. LOL!

  • 24 February 2018 at 21:18

    And remember Long Distance phone calls? I miss them because placing–and especially receiving–one of those generated an excitement (and expense) rivaling Christmas morning.

  • 13 March 2018 at 13:13

    What’s your take on things like https://puri.sm ? I’ve never used “stock” Android phones (always replaced with a custom ROM from what used to be called cyanogenmod family). I have since switched to an iPhone, but only because my data isn’t the product anymore (although it’s still being sucked up to Apple).
    The privacy space is wide open for innovation, for sure.

    Thanks for your insight, as always.

    • 13 March 2018 at 13:41

      Custom Android ROMs are tricky… Many people use them, but then install the Google package (including the Play Store) which I suspect is tracking the bejeebies out of them. There are alternative app stores one can use, of course, but it’s not really something your average Joe will take on.

      The Puri.sm thing is pretty interesting… as long as you don’t install Chrome and sign in to Google!

      I’m afraid at this point there ARE alternatives that are pretty good, but none of them will ever catch on because people prefer the convenience of “it just works” and they are willing to sacrifice privacy to get it.



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