# When Talking About Mobile Tracking, Don't Veil Bad Actors With Blanket Statements
It's difficult to have useful conversations about mobile tracking when
someone says "your phone / mobile device tracks you";
such statements don't often lead to constructive conversation because they
are too vague and therefore easily dismissed as sensationalism or
And they are all too often without substance because,
while users do have legitimate concerns,
they aren't necessarily aware of the specific problems contributing to
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A mobile device is nothing more than a small computer that you carry around
The networks that you connect to can spy on you---your
cellular network, bluetooth, wifi, etc.
To help mitigate these threats,
you can disable those communications until you are in a safe place that
you don't mind others knowing about.
We can only have confidence that these connections have been disabled by
like a hardware switch or a bag that acts like a Faraday cage.
[iOS deceives users][ios-deceive] when they ask to disable those communications
The software running on your device often spies on you:
the operating system itself often spies;
the apps you install often spy.
This is the fault of the individual _authors_---_they_
are the problem.
Consider using free/libre software that empowers you and serves _you_ rather
than its creators;
it's much harder to hide secrets in free software.
consider using only free software available in [F-Droid].
We also need fully free mobile operating systems,
like [Replicant] and hopefully Purism's Librem 5 that is still under
Don't be fooled into thinking the Android on most phones is free
its core (AOSP) is.
Call out those that do harm---don't
veil and protect them using statements like "your phone tracks you".
Talk about the specific issues.
Demand change and have the courage to reject them entirely.
This involves inconvenience and sacrifice.
But if we're strong now,
then in the near future perhaps we won't have to make any sacrifices,
much like the fully free GNU/Linux system desktops we have today.
Fore more information on tracking,
see my [LibrePlanet 2017 and 2018 talks](/talks) "The Surreptitious Assault on Privacy,
Security, and Freedom" and "The Ethics Void", respectively.