Last week Google Turkey stopped licensing new smartphones. This was following a fine imposed by the State’s Competition Authority. By threatening to deny services to end-users, Google hopes to force the local authorities to dance to its tune.
This mode of operating with Google has become a trend of late. Google also imposes restrictions on manufacturers to eliminate competition. Such restrictive practices on the part of Google has not gone unnoticed. As a consequence, they have been attracting fines and penalties in different countries across the globe. The fine imposed by EU to the latest one by France are just some of the examples of this.
Given that this is the situation in the world of Android Smartphones, what is it that you as a user can do?
Even though it is not a complete solution to the problem, you can start by reducing your usage of Google tools. For instance by not using their popular search engine. The search engine is embedded in all the proprietary apps by Google, and comes pre-installed on your smartphones. Google is aware of this and makes it difficult in its default browser to pick other search engines for web searches namely Qwant, DuckduckGo, etc.
Google has become a leader of the surveillance capitalism and grabs tons of personal data from billions of people globally. The most advanced solution is probably to completely move away from the Google platform on your phone and to opt for a non-Google version of Android like /e/OS. An android Operating system designed with privacy in mind, with /e/OS you do not need to be worried about data leaks to Google services. With /e/OS you get a complete replacement for almost all the online Google services. This includes an App Store, Maps, Cloud Drive, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Online Docs – all under a single account offered by e.foundation.
A basic /e/ account comes with 5 gigabyte free storage space. There are paid versions of storage available which offer more space with additional features. Some users find it a bit difficult to pay for the additional storage space when big organizations like Google provide it for free. The reason behind this is at /e/ user data privacy is a paramount concern. This requires the use of secure storage and that in turn has a cost involved in terms of hardware, energy or system administrators. Also it would be good to remember that Google can afford to provide free storage as it also sells its anonymized user data to its business partners.
Coming back to Turkey, certainly the netizens there also have a role to play and can stand up against this bullying by Big-Business houses. They need to educate and inform their fellow countrymen and women about the availability of non-Google version of Android. They can share details about the availability of open source Operating Systems that replace the online services offered by Google. They can explain the potential for surveillance in Google products. They can share details about the monopolistic policies embraced by this web search giant and point out details of the anti-trust investigations and fines.
The user has to completely break away from using Google and all its products and services. It cannot be a partial break. Using any product or service from Google, no matter how insignificant still ends up leaking your data – your personal information – on to the Google Servers.
At /e/OS your data is your data. Period. That being so, installing a non-Google version of Android on your phone can be tiresome and technical. /e/OS aims to fix in a few months with a self installer that will unable anyone with a compatible device to switch to privacy by design. /e/OS also offers today pre-installed refurbished smartphones, available for shipping in entire Europe including Turkey.
Give /e/OS smartphones a shot! It packs all the tools you need to make your life better. . It is a fun, simple, easy to use Google-free Android based OS that respects your privacy. It is /e/OS!!! Get it now for your android smartphone.