T-Mobile and Verizon Admit Smartphones are Not Private or Secure!

Telecom providers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon have monetized the telecom subscriber (“paying customer”) and authorized device user (spouse, significant other, child, etc.) leading to numerous civil liberty, privacy, cyber security and safety threats.

As a result of uncontrollable preinstalled surveillance and data mining technology (apps, widgets, etc.), consumers can no longer purchase a private, secure or safe smartphone or flip phone:

Don’t take my word for this claim, T-Mobile and Verizon admit it:

T-Mobile Admission: “We, too, remember a time before smartphones when it was reasonable to conclude that when you activated service with T-Mobile that only T-Mobile would have access to our personal information. However, with the Samsung Galaxy Note, the iPhone, and many other devices, there are indeed a variety of parties that may collect and use information.” — T-Mobile Privacy Team (FCC Consumer Complaint #423849 Filed by Rex M. Lee/Public Record).

Verizon Admission: “We have reviewed your request at the highest levels of our organization and have confirmed that the only solutions to make a phone private and secure are available through third parties, not directly from Verizon…Additionally, Verizon is not equipped to address preinstalled solutions or applications on any device.”- Verizon admits a person cannot purchased a private, secure or safe smartphone or flip phone/Email from a purchase request from Rex M. Lee July 2nd, 2018

Smartphones and connected products supported by the android OS, Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows OS are supported by predatory surveillance and data mining business practices rooted in Surveillance Capitalism.

Products supported by Surveillance Capitalism means that the product developers are enabled to monitor, track and data mine the product user for financial gain at the expense of the product user’s civil liberties, privacy, cyber security and safety since the product developers do not indemnify (protect) the product user from harm.

Surveillance Capitalism simply means that the consumer of connected technology has been monetized by the product developers which include companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.

Not even security apps or MDM apps protect the product user from preinstalled surveillance and data mining technology developed by the OS developer and preinstalled content (apps, widgets, etc.) developers.

Consumers of connected products are in need of an Electronic Bill of Rights to protect individuals, children and business processionals from data driven technology providers who employ predatory surveillance and data mining business practices.

Consumers of connected products have been turned into “uncompensated information producers” who are exploited for financial gain by the very tech companies the product user patronizes with their trust, loyalty and hard earned money.

Even children are being exploited for financial gain at the expense of the child’s privacy and safety by tech giants such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.

Again, don’t take my word for this claim, Sean Parker (Co-Founder Facebook) admits it:

"It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology…God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains…The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway…”- Sean Parker, Axios- November 9th, 2017

Why are we not holding these companies accountable for selling us addictive, intrusive, harmful and exploitive technology?

To learn more, read articles written by an industry insider at My Smart Privacy: http://www.mysmartprivacy.com/articles.html

Those of us without smartphones are aware of the dangers. I would encourage people to donate their smartphones and get a simple phone.

Here are webpages on smartphone donations:

  1. https://blog.trendmicro.com/where-to-donate-your-old-smartphone/
  2. https://smartphonerecycling.com/operation-recycling.html (phones go to soldiers overseas)
  3. https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhones/Guides/Donate-your-old-cell-phone-to-a-good-cause (projects listed here include emergency life-saving ones and healthcare programs in foreign countries)

Do good, and be smart and safe :heart::heart::heart:

Going back to a simple flip phone sounds great on paper but unfortunately, I tried to buy a private, secure and safe flip phone and could not.

I went back and fourth for three months with Verizon vetting their so-called private, secure and safe smartphones and flip phones and was able to prove to Verizon that all products concerned still enable the product developers to monitor, track and data mine the product user for financial gain.

Don’t take my word for this claim, read Verizon’s own words:

• “We have reviewed your request at the highest levels of our organization and have confirmed that the only solutions to make a phone private and secure are available through third parties, not directly from Verizon”.

• “Additionally, Verizon is not equipped to address preinstalled solutions or applications on any device.”

Even the third-party solutions Verizon suggested were not private, secure of safe.

What many flip phone users do not realize is that Google has infiltrated the OS market for flip phones and many flip phones are supported by the a flip phone version of the android OS that may or may not be transparent to the flip phone user.

You have to find a used flip phone on the secondary market to get away from the android OS all together but getting it activated with a major carrier may be an issue. Also many of the preinstalled apps that support Apple iPhones are co-developed by Google such as Numbers, Keynotes and Pages which are programmed to enable Apple and Google with ability to monitor, track and data mine the Apple iPhone user as well.

Don’t take my word for this as well, read your Apple T&Cs:

I like your reply plus make sure people are being told to go to the secondary market for their flip phones. Have a great day- Rex

Thank you; very informative!

Can you comment on the age of phones? Mine is a Samsung 330, which I bought several years ago. Would it be less likely to have these vulnerabilities–or just as likely?

Any Samsung Product after 2008 is more than likely supported by the Google OS whether it is transparent in the form of the android OS or maybe not. Google and Samsung have an exclusive deal in regards to the OS that support all connected products manufactured by Samsung including appliances, tablets, TVs etc.

LG, HTC and most other reputable manufacturers (“OEMs”) have exclusive deals with Google so you are left with OEMs such as ZTE which their flip phones contain backdoors to state owned companies within China.

Due to the advanced LTE protocol, old CDMA and GSM phones will not be compatible with today’s 4G and 5G networks so going back as far as pre- 2012 to obtain older technology may not work due to compatibility issues with todays’ advance LTE protocols.

2G & 3G networks are being decommissioned nationwide by AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon due to industry consolidation via the acquisition of companies such as MetroPCS (T-Mobile) and Cricket (AT&T).

Pretty much, privacy is dead according to T-Mobile and Verizon per my research.

I hope I’m not boring you with too much industry knowledge but most people today do not understand what is going on in regards to industry consolidation to understand the impact it is having on privacy.

People in general do not understand that privacy, cyber security and safety are gone in regards to smartphones, flip phones and connected products supported by the android OS, Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows OS.

This includes connected products such as tablet PCs, PCs in general, TVs, vehicles, appliances, toys and/or any other connected product supported by the android OS, Apple iOS and MS Windows OS.

If you want to learn more read the complaint letters that I have recently filed this month with T-Mobile and the FTC on my web site My Smart Privacy at: http://www.mysmartprivacy.com/take-action.html

In particular, read the FCC complaint letter to understand the scale of the problem is in regards to obtaining private, safe and secure wireless communications in the form of smartphones and traditional flip phones plus connected products such as tablet PCs and PCs in general.

Private, secure and safe telecommunications and computing are gone and the general public has no idea this has taken place over the past 5 years due to industry consolidation.

I’m taking action by filing complaint letters with my telecom service providers, law makers and agencies such as the FCC and FTC. My complaints are centered on transparency in regards to surveillance and data mining business practices employed by AT&T, T-Mobile, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and other tech giants.

If you want change, you have to take action. I can show you how and other people who are concerned about privacy due to my vast wireless industry and application development experience. I’m not afraid to call out those who do wrong including Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Good Luck in finding a solution, if you find anything that is being marketed as private and secure, let me know about it and I will vet it to make sure it is private and secure. Again, I’m an industry insider who works for an application developer today but I have over 35 years of wireless industry experience at a senior executive level.

I’m risking my livelihood by going public but somebody has to do it. Morals over Money!

Regards- Rex

Ok, although it’s too hard for most people to live without smartphone these days. Also, this technology is so enforced in our lives that it would be hell to do anything without it.

Also, most of us didn’t knew that it will be very hard turning from a dark side of smartphone ownership to simple pleasures of owning a humble feature phone.

I’m lucky I still use my Nokia 3310 and have tens of them as a spare phone. I hope they won’t shut down GSM networks soon.

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