Using multiple chromebooks for privacy

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by roark37, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Hi. I started the thread on using multiple browsers and have been reading the recent threads comparing Windows & OSX privacy and the one about the new Windows 10 privacy so I had a scenario I wanted to get feedback on. What about using multiple chromebooks(any chrome0s devices) to get reasonable privacy? I was thinking one chromebook would only be used for email and things in your actual name like online banking or shopping say at Amazon for example and nothing else. Then the other chromebook not in your real name is used for everything else. Would that example minimize tracking even with these both using the same home wifi? Or without using vpn or TOR would using multiple devices like this not have much impact? I have never even used chromebook as I don't even have a Google account as I have always been reluctant to give them my real name but after reading the Windows 10 privacy thread and the other comparing Windows to OSX I am not sure anymore if Google is really any different from those so I thought maybe better to try to isolate tracking just to Google alone? I would like to also minimize tracking by even Google but I am not sure that can be easily accomplished on ChromeOS. And for my scenario I was talking about chrombooks out of the box and not using the many security/privacy extensions but those could be used potentially with both cb's to make things even more private. Any merit to the idea or not much to none? Thanks.
     
  2. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    Not sure what you mean by "reasonable privacy". While what you're proposing is pretty good on the security front, it's up to you what comprises "reasonable" regarding privacy. As you've noted, you are turning over all data to the google-sphere, and, I suggest, you'll have to be awfully skilful at keeping the personas distinct. It just takes one slip and you're cooked. What you do not have in any respect with your idea is completely private stuff, with local storage.
     
  3. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Well there are "locally managed users", but I believe you still need to sign in with your Google account on first setup.
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Physical isolation is a standard approach. But I don't see the point of using chromebooks. Too much Google, there, no? Maybe Raspberry Pi or Banana Pi or USB stick microcomputers. Tinfoil Chat uses two Pi for secure chat.[0] But still there are closed-source hardware and firmware. Some folks want to redo the whole stack open-source and audited, starting from relays, tubes and core memory ;)

    [0] https://github.com/maqp/tfc-otp
     
  5. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    By "reasonable privacy" I just meant that it seems such a large task to be able to achieve internet privacy, especially for a not really sophisticated user like myself so as much as I want and believe there should be no tracking at all I don't know if all the work it may involve is worth it. So as much as I hate to say it a compromise position like just trying minimize tracking or isolate to only one of the big data gatherers it seems may be all the average user can hope for. And I thought maybe Google if it can be isolated to just them may be a better choice as someone mentioned on another recent thread they seem more transparent about their collection although I am not sure if that is even true.

    As for using Chromebooks for the example it could be different types and may be better that way. I just used CB's as example because it seems there security is very strong out of the box again for the average user. But maybe a better option is for the CB to be used only for the limited real name uses and then another non CB for everything else. But my main question was whether using multiple devices for specific uses actually provides any additional privacy when all on the same network(home wifi) as I was not sure if the tracking has got so sophisticated that all data is being cross referenced by ip/network that the large data gatherers already tie it together anyway?

    Thanks.
     
  6. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    Perhaps you're coming at this from the wrong angle? Achieving separation between personas will require use of VPN, and possibly anonymity networks too. Sometimes VMs with reversion are useful. But look up DNS leaks and WebRTC to see how difficult it can be to keep IP address information private.
    Practically, only having two hands, and being even more challenged win the brain department, I can only cope with running one system at a time, and whether that's a laptop with multiple usb3 boot disks, or multiple cheap desktops (some of the modern low-power-consumption 4-core units are good) with a KVM switch and a decent display, there's really only one system running for me. The only exception to that is running multiple VMs on a multiscreen setup which is very nice - but you still need to be capable of mental compartmentalisation!
    I don't see the point of being sucked into the googlesphere when you don't have to be - there are good, fast, private linux distros to be had, and some with specific facilities for privacy built-in, perfectly accessible to anyone who can read and learn, your knowledge will build up as time goes on.
     
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