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Google’s latest assault on Privacy – Project-Fi

Posted by on April 22, 2015.

Google announced on their blog today that they are launching Project Fi – a new mobile network for owners of Nexus 6 devices.  Basically Google have partnered with Sprint and T-Mobile to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) and at a glance the service looks appealing.  You only pay for the actual data you use at the very reasonable price of $10 per GB and any data you don’t use will be refunded at the end of the month.  Furthermore, the network will seamlessly switch you between partner networks to give you the best speed and most comprehensive connectivity.  Looks good right?

Wrong.

When you look deeper and pay attention to the details, it is actually a privacy nightmare.  Project-Fi uses Google’s standard privacy policy which means they fully intend to monitor absolutely everything you do whilst using the Project-Fi network.  Why is this good for Google?  Well until now, Google has only been able to track you based on services you access to which Google are a third party partner (for example web sites with Google’s advertising platform or Google Analytics) and whereas this gives Google a great deal of information about you, it is far from holistic.  But by using Google’s Project-Fi network, Google will be able to track all your online activity – they will see every single web site you visit, they will see your SMS messages, they will know who you are calling, they will be able to track you through tower triangulation – they will for the first time ever have complete access to your location, your communications and your online activities and according to their privacy policy, they will use that information for marketing purposes – which means they will add it to your behavioural profile.

Currently the network is only open to Nexus 6 owners – but it would be naive to disbelieve that Google’s long term plan is to roll this out to the everyone.

If you don’t care about this stuff, then you will probably just blindly sign up for the service and frankly there is nothing I can say which will change your mind – but if you care about privacy, the last thing you want to do is give Google access to this level of your day to day activities.  Even if you use a VPN for your data, that still won’t stop Google from being able to access your location, calls and SMS details at any time they choose and you can guarantee this data will be retained for as long as they can possibly get away with.

I rate Project-Fi at 0/10 for Privacy.


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One thought on “Google’s latest assault on Privacy – Project-Fi

  1. Louis gene deantonio on said:

    disagree Google forms may be over priced, but think of what Google has done and recreated to fit sherry’s like yourself. I use Google as my network and besides some security issue it is the best service most friendly and straight forward trusting corp there is go to Verizon and get your data upfront before posting payment.. I lost my job then my wife with my only son and have been struggling for three months my bill is high way up there but Google is honorable and I still have limited use with go but due the creation and freedom behind hangouts I Can stay in touch.. Verizon after a month and a week nuke the SIM card leaving your device not even a bar shows it’s dead. no radio no cell nota. Google is awesome hands down😎😰yes I did say that. I could say screw my 200 bill and go cheaper another third party. I choose loyalty to Google and what account do you use is it Google so how is this thrid party when the device packs android owned by Google from 17 years. they will improve and surpass every carrier you like

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Submitted in: Alexander Hanff, News_privacy, News_surveillance, Security | Tags: , , , , , , , ,