As it is now with our iPhones and Android phones, we have no way of knowing all of the ways that we are being tracked.
In anticipation of getting my Librem 5, I have some questions about exactly how to maintain privacy on it. I am not only concerned about the initial install of new programs and use of the device, although that is a concern. But I want to know that anything I do to accidentally compromise security can be detected and reversed as I learn more. When I delete the cookies, how do I know that there is not a secret directory that I don’t know about, where the real cookies are hidden? How do I know that some apps aren’t still tracking me? Is Purism going to maintain a manual somewhere, that covers mastering all things related to Security?
One feature that I hope exists in the Librem 5 software, is the ability to pacify publishers desire to force us to accept cookies, and then the browser automatically will delete those cookies as soon as we leave their web page. I think we need not only defenses, but countermeasures to specific standard practices that we know exist from those who spy on us. Out of the gate, I don’t want advertisers to be able to read the IMEI number on my phone, nor to assign me an advertising ID number. If they see me at all, all I want them to see is this unknown person who they can’t identify nor tag for future reference before I disappear from their sight. Is this possible? My fear is that if I don’t plan correctly from day one, that the only way to shake them off later will be to wipe and re-install the OS on the phone, buy a new modem, and get a new SIM card and phone number. Will Purism be willing to build and install apps that hide or spoof the IMEI number? Will Purism be willing to build not only defensive measures, but also some semi-offensive countermeasures for us? The best defense is a good offense. If Google believes that they have identified me as a black or Latino generation x-er female, they will never know that I am a white male baby boomer. I would like to feed them incorrect random information about me to keep the information they have about me, inaccurate. Someone will need to write the code to make that possible. With enough bad data, they won’t be capable of ever really profiling me because there will be too much bad data to ever find and identify the real data. If we’re not careful, they’ll have us all figured out before we can confound them.