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Do we Need to Regulate Google and Facebook



A very concerning article regarding privacy breaches.


I thought most of us already knew about data brokers.


In the Smart TV thread someone brought up the need for a Google account to use their TV. So I’d like to know.

In what areas is Google dangerously unavoidable?

I’d like to start with the obvious matter of phones, where you can realistically choose Apple or Google if you need a smartphone. One point often missed though is that this is a class issue too. Apple’s devices are prohibitively expensive for entire sections of the world, meaning they have no choice but to accept Google using their data. There needs to be laws requiring choice of OS for phones if nothing else.


I would challenge a “need” for a smartphone. We have all been (successfully) brainwashed into believing we must have one. I’m a case in point, I grabbed a US iPhone as soon as I was able, back in 2007, and went through the jailbreak nightmare so I could use it with my Telstra prepaid account and have stuck with Apple (I was already an Apple user, computerwise) ever since.

But when I consider what I use the phone for, I could just as easily make do with a “feature phone” like the latest iteration of the Nokia 8800 which doesnt run either iOS or Android. I could probably make do with a standard flip phone, if it came to it, because all I do is make or take calls or text. I do take the odd photo but its a rare event and I could quite happily live without. Google is easily avoidable. I missed the thread about the TV.

HOWEVER: I have become semi-dependent on iMessage. Therefore Apple/iOS is my only option. I now stay 3 or 4 generations behind the latest (nobody needs the latest, thats just rubbish) and because those are often heavily discounted, they are affordable. I recently bought an iPhone 7, because my 6S wasnt good enough to support the iOS app for Freestyle Libre NFC (diabetes stuff). It wasnt a necessity, theres a reader, but I wanted it, and JB Hifi had a very decent sale on, with the 128GB model going for the same price as Apple still sells the 32GB model for. I sold the 6S on to someone who wanted iOS but also could not afford the latest. the second hand iPhone market is very healthy.


Unfortunately it’s not that simple anymore. If you’re on a low income a smartphone may be your only window into the internet. Or if you’re in a developing nation where there isn’t broadband internet.

Lots of these are relevant to Smartphones too Discrimination against non mobile users


The friction between the US and China, focusing on Huawei and google handicapping Huawei’s access to Android could result in a third choice - ‘HuaweiOS’! If China Inc is indeed eavesdropping on us everyday sorts would it be any more serious in practice than having our information commoditised across the ‘western business plains’?


I agree … in fact I begin to wonder why they still incorporate a telephone into the things! Texting and data transfer seems to be their main use these days.

As an aside, having started a similar thread here about ANZ requiring us to use a smartphone to make certain funds transfers, I complained to ANZ about their lack of alternatives for that process. Their response (after distilling the verbiage) was basically to say that they don’t really care, have no interest in reviewing those processes and don’t plan on placing customers needs first any time soon! Another surprise … not. We are being forced to use Smartphones - and that’s not smart!


I’m a realist, but the optimist in me would like to see at least a couple of these alternatives succeed.


See, in both those circumstances I would be even more inclined to challenge the need. No broadband? Surely food and shelter are more important. I’m sorry but that argument just doesn’t work for me. I’d be too busy trying to stay alive than bother about the internet. Making phonecalls, sure… but you dont NEED a smartphone for that.


I got quite excited at the prospect of KaiOS, its already in the Nokia "banana phone). But from the article you linked, I see Google has its sticky fingers in it. So it will succeed, but its a no-go for me. Some of the others look interesting.


How is someone meant to get a job without the internet? Or have access to vital information and news? Even accessing government services in Australia requires the internet. Smartphones are becoming more and more essential every day, even more so for people on low incomes who can’t afford broadband, computers or even are homeless.

As someone who has volunteered in the area, I loathe the attitude that poor people don’t need things like smartphones and should just stop expecting to access the internet. If you’re recently unemployed and homeless (a case I saw frequently) you need internet access to find new accommodation, access services, search for work and manage your finances. Doubly if you live outside a big city, where you don’t live near physical services and broadband isn’t always available


The last one that was hard to hack and had legs and no google or similar was probably


Now all we need is a Morse code class for sending texts ala a feature phone. It might also qualify as a musical instrument when properly hit upon. The cynics will point out it does not go through walls well and has limited distance, but cannot have it all. It is secure. :rofl:


Would that upgrade be Jungle Drums, or smoke signals?
I prefer the former, as despite shorter range it offers 24x7 service, except for possible interference during storms. :wink:

P.S. assumes Apple don’t already have a patent on a method for tapping one piece of wood with another!


Pounding the pavement? Physically presenting yourself at a job search office? Ringing job placement services? Going to a Library and using their computers?

Library, newspapers.

I make use of those but am certain there would be alternatives.

Internet access remains a privilege and NOT a right, even now. Maybe one day.


Once again you’re presuming someone lives in a convenient place where there are libraries, job search offices etc. And the vast majority of government services I’ve used (such as Centrelink, important for someone with little income) need it, especially if you don’t live near a branch. Especially with large numbers of bank branches and post offices being closed or reducing hours

I’ve seen first hand that people don’t always have this. Especially since inner city accommodation is far more expensive than living on the fringes


An interesting observation. For anyone who has spent extended time working and living in less fortunate places, PNG might be a good example.

Communication restricted due to geography and low wealth. Physical movement around the country is difficult. Democracy sits on a precipice daily. Local communities exist in varying degrees of isolation, and political ignorance. Progressively things have changed, although the principles of Christian mission sponsored education are still core to education. Progress through better communication and even banking using mobiles was evident with the spread of mobile phone services in PNG. The country arguably turned on having better communication to a more progressive government and ‘free education’ in 2012. Up until then those that had a local school saw schooling end at approx grade 4.

While Google and Android may not be the solution for the poorest nations?

Mobile phones bring more than a phone call!

We are lucky in that we have other options and almost universal coverage of FTA radio and TV from many sources.


Sighhhh. I’m sorry my views dont gel with yours… thats life.

Lets get back to topic. I’m out of the rest of it.


Except that people in many countries are able to run their businesses entirely from their smart phone. Without the phone, there is no business! This is the case, for instance, in India where pothole fillers (one person, one shovel) used to have to gather in one spot where the customers would come and seek the lowest price. Now they can get orders and place bids using their phones.


My apologies if I came across a bit harsh, but I’ve seen a lot of this stuff happen first hand.

I actually asked a family member on disability benefits what they thought and they pointed out 2 additional points:

  • They obtained a small amount of work through an employment agency and still needed the internet to submit the details required to be paid
  • Libraries in our local area wont let you use the internet unless you have an address in the area. Bad luck if you’re homeless


Media cry foul after being found liable for defamatory reader comments on their Facebook posts.

It looks like the courts are taking a view that will cause quite a commotion if it becomes prevalent.