Internet providers and wireless carriers, by necessity, can see the traffic coming and going to your phone. Some companies have better privacy policies than others, but Google’s Project Fi can’t make a blanket policy — that’s because the carrier doesn’t control its own network, and instead piggybacks off of companies like T-Mobile and Sprint. To solve that, Project Fi is launching a new option today that allows subscribers to route all of their traffic through a Google-run VPN. That means all traffic will be encrypted as it goes out and returns to your phone, so T-Mobile and Sprint won’t be able to see what you’re up to. But your traffic will be going to Google’s servers, so Google will be able to see what you’re visiting. In a blog post, the company says that “your traffic isn’t tied to your Google account or phone number,” and in an email, a Google representative confirmed the company doesn’t tie the data to “any other user identifiers” either. The representative also said that traffic that is otherwise encrypted, such as by HTTPS, wouldn’t be readable by Google. Project Fi does “not store the traffic coming through the VPN,” according to the representative. However, Google can still makes use of the data in a small number of ways, including to improve the VPN product and other Fi network services and to monitor for abuse. The representative noted that Google would also “comply with applicable laws and regulations, or as required by court or government… [Read full story]
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