That very question is the topic of an interesting discussion in the Windows Central forums.


I've disabled pretty much every thing in the personal info & privacy settings except for YouTube. If I use Bing, Outlook, Here etc - am I flying under Google's radar or can Google still skim data somehow? I'm not a privacy nut... I use Facebook! I'm just wondering if you can truly opt-out with Google. I'd imagine the EU Privacy guys would be all over Google if they were somehow stealing...


Rightly or wrongly, it's a question that will never go away. Why? Google has a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to protecting its users' privacy ... as opposed to selling their personal details. And if you do go to use an Android phone, it's entirely possible to use as little Google as possible. We've shown how easy it is to Microsoft up an Android device, but the simple truth is you can't use one without at least having a Google account. And for some people, that's a concern.

Does Google actually steal information from you? Probably not, but it does use the information you give it access too. Android allows a great deal of control over how much you share and what gets permissions on your phone, but it's still a concern in the back of some people's minds.

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I've been using Android in some way fairly steadily since 2010, and I've yet to have a serious concern. Or at least, one generated by Google. But I've also started to use fewer of its services, and I very much enjoy using Android with a suite of Microsoft goodness in its place.

What say you? If you have some wisdom to contribute, hit the forums thread below and join the conversation.

If I disable most of Google's privacy settings on Android - is the big G still spying?