How Google & Android Track Your Location – And How to Opt-Out 

How Google & Android Track Your Location – And How to Opt-Out 

There’s a lot of details on how Google and specifically Android tracks your location, that most people aren’t aware of. And if you ask me, that’s cluelessness by design. For most people, turning on “location” on their devices, seeing that little 📍-icon popping up, means that the device is now “connected to the GPS”. In reality however, that usually means that the device is scanning Wi-Fi, mobile networks and even Bluetooth in some cases to improve the results – in battery saving mode Android isn’t actually using GPS at all to locate the device!

So why’s this a big deal? Because every Wi-Fi sharing device is automatically mapped by Google, and they’re using your devices as a tool of doing so. In a nutshell:

  1. Google knows the location of your device (i.e. you), even if you’re using a VPN and your IP would be pointing elsewhere.
  2. Your device is basically enslaved to Google, providing location data regarding its surroundings, and thus improving Google’s services with the cost of your device’s battery life, performance, and your privacy.
  3. Every Wi-Fi hotspot, router and such is unwillingly acting as a location beacon for Google.

Luckily there are few ways to opt-out of these things. In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to do just that.

Continue reading “How Google & Android Track Your Location – And How to Opt-Out “

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Make Twitter Non-Personalized Again

Make Twitter Non-Personalized Again

Many of you have probably heard about Twitter’s new privacy policy which was sold to you the same way these things always are: “to bring you a more personalized experience”. Obviously, this meant that more of your data is getting analyzed and sold to the highest bidder. I immediately encouraged my followers to opt-out of it, and since then also the great folks at EFF have written a guide on how to do so.

But what many Twitter users don’t know is that there are other ways that Twitter is already (and by default) doing to “enhance” your timeline. This is how you can opt-out from the rest of those settings: Continue reading “Make Twitter Non-Personalized Again”

Reddit Privacy Settings Guide

Reddit Privacy Settings Guide

Privacy Options: https://www.reddit.com/prefs/

 

 

Personalization Preferences: https://www.reddit.com/personalization

(This used to be called Personalized Ads, but Reddit has since expanded its “personalization” options)

This should get you started, but do be aware that as explained in their Privacy Policy, Reddit collects a shit-ton of information about you – including geolocation data –  regardless of these settings. It’s also worth visiting /r/privacy, and as always, remember to keep identities and profiles completely separated.