[nmglug] Fwd: Google Contacts (from Re: Will curiosity kill my cat? What is this?)

Tom Ashcraft trailerdog234 at comcast.net
Thu Jan 10 14:33:56 PST 2019

On 1/10/19 10:37 AM, Akkana Peck wrote:

> Tom Ashcraft writes:
>> I am hooked but not enthusiastic about the new device (Moto G6, 
>> Ting). Google
>> and Android totally creep me out, but I think I've got that aspect as
>> constrained as is reasonably possible. (Synced Contacts being the really
>> horrible, notable exception.)
> You don't need to sync your contacts either, if you don't want to;
> Android still works with local/only contacts. Though of course, *we
> shouldn't assume that means Google doesn't know our contacts.*
> Thanks for the response, Akkana,
Though I've tried, I've yet figure out how to actually get the 
local-contacts-only thing to work.  Perhaps you have something specific 
in mind that due to lack of skill or experience I've yet to discover.

My concerns with Google Contacts are:

1) that everything that I could find and try from Google PlayStore, 
including apps  returned when I placed 'F-Droid' in the search fields, 
all linked back to requiring permissions to access Google Contacts

2) that other people who place my phone number in their own Google 
Contacts (most people who use Android phones) are already building a map 
of all my personal associations for Google without my knowledge or 

Even if I happen to find some way to be stubborn, ornery, or smart 
enough to get around the situation, there still remains the "tyranny of 
the default" to which most people will necessarily acquiesce, wittingly 
or not:  Google contacts and PlayStore apps sync automatically if you 
have an Android phone and a Gmail account.

So far, no functional app or strategy I can find *anywhere* (other than 
memorizing phone numbers) provides a dialer that will work without a 
Google-associated contacts list.

But perhaps transfer of information between Google and independent apps 
really does only go one way; that is, for some unknown innocuous reason 
all the apps consistently just have to know what information of mine 
Google happens to have if I am to be afforded the privilege of using any 
of them.  Really?

Why should the functionality of an app have to be conditioned on whether 
or not I give it permission to access Google Contacts? Why should the 
app need that if I don't?  What is the problem with having separate 
groups of contacts?  Why should the developer of an independent app care?

I think for the most part the answers are that Google simply doesn't 
want such things to happen, that Google is looking at everything I have 
whether I like it or not.

Possibly I could find some way to split-view the screen with both a 
phone dialer and a .txt file of names and numbers.  If that can be done, 
I don't yet know how.

The situation as I currently understand it strikes me as being analogous 
being able to pull the shades on your living room windows but having no 
curtains and a ladder outside your bathroom window.

Another analogy is that if someone goes on the plaza of the Taos Pueblo 
with a camera that person will typically be told they can't take any 
pictures of anyone, but then the person hides behind a bush or something 
and takes pictures anyway.

All of which sucks.

Please, someone, tell me how I'm wrong, that I'm making stupid mistakes, 
that you know things I don't.


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