I’ve gotten prepaid sims for things but obviously that’s not really a feasible method for your main life phone.

  • psychonova@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    9 days ago

    it would help to know jurisdiction/market area because that really affects the options, especially because that’s a rapidly changing landscape right now. some places, prepaid SIMs + cash work well enough, other places it’s better to go with giftcards or prepaid debit cards etc. yet other places there’s definitely no good options to do it. it takes a lot of effort, and you have to remember that you need to consider that any app or service you log into on that phone may end up identifying you against the SIM card, so you need to be really careful in your usage! i hope you find an option that works! :)

    • blindsight@beehaw.org
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      9 days ago

      I recall hearing a story about law enforcement identifying an otherwise-anonymous phone by other phones that pinged the same cell towers at the same times. Essentially, the person had two phones on them, so they were able to uniquely identify the individual based on the shared location history of the two devices.

      So there’s that, too, assuming my memory isn’t just some CSI bullshit. (It seems reasonable that this attack vector is technologically possible, though, and it may not matter if it’s legal if the identification technique isn’t used as evidence in court.)

      • Darkassassin07@lemmy.ca
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        5 days ago

        Reminds me of this doc I watched a couple weeks ago.

        TLDW; psyco travelled across the country to kill his mom, then drove back. He bought a burner phone at the start of his trip, but kept his normal phone with him the whole time. The cops were able to track both devices as they each connected to the same cell towers while traveling together from the west coast, to the east coast, and back again.

  • LucidBoi@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    9 days ago

    where i live, you can buy a sim card that you can then charge by buying codes on kiosks. no identity needed, all cash

      • lemmyvore@feddit.nl
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        9 days ago

        They have your identity the moment you put the sim in the phone. The phone have unique identifiers that are recorded when sold.

        • pirat@lemmy.world
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          9 days ago

          Buy the phone used and/or with cash. And never put any SIM card in it that can be linked back to you or someone you know.

          • lemmyvore@feddit.nl
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            8 days ago

            All the apps on your phone have access to the phone identifier. As well as other information, like your Google account. It’s pretty trivial to tie a phone to you.

            • youmaynotknow@lemmy.ml
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              8 days ago

              As long as you keep to FOSS apps that you KNOW are private (you can tell which ones call home), you should be OK. For example, Lemmy with a throwaway email address, Simplex for communications, Mull with a shitload of blocks, Orbot with RethinkDNS, and so on, you’re golden. Buy your phone in a different country, on Ebay with a throwaway account and a prepaid credit card.

              There’s a lot you can do to remain truly anonymous.

              Now, my threat model does not require me to go to those extents, but you get the point.

        • tiredofsametab@kbin.run
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          8 days ago

          If someone really wanted to find the person, I imagine they’d find where the signal is coming from for that device, and just narrow from there. If it always goes to/from where John works and lives, it might well be John’s phone.

      • sunzu@kbin.run
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        9 days ago

        That would require law enforcement to obtain the recording and have a reason to do so

        • drkt@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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          8 days ago

          I mean, yeah? If I’m buying anonymous phone credits, the police probably has a reason to go looking for me.

          • sunzu@kbin.run
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            8 days ago

            Act itself is not illegal… Police wouldn’t care un less you are already on Santa’s list… But it would not be police either but rather internal spooks who track that list.

              • sunzu@kbin.run
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                8 days ago

                Yeah but you already need to be on the list for them to check at all

                And even then I doubt they would. They got limited resources. with that being I have no idea about your threat model.

                If it involves over zealous glowies, this comment section is prolly a bit too rookie to properly comment. Also this things are very geo specific as each jurisdiction will have their own KYC regs and compliance practices.

  • Churbleyimyam@lemm.ee
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    9 days ago

    It might be worth looking again at pay-as-you-go. Here in the UK at least, there are some ‘bundle’ plans that are not actually that much more expensive than a contract. Topping up with a voucher once a month is a bit inconvenient but not too bad. You

    I don’t know to what extent the phone companies log and share your usage (if you’re in an English-speaking country it’s likely quite extensive) but I would imagine they could still identify you probabilistically by your patterns of use, including which towers you connect to. Using a VPN/proxy/TOR would at least limit the number of IP addresses they see you connecting to but that’s off topic a bit.

    • communism@lemmy.mlOP
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      9 days ago

      Thanks, that sounds like a good idea. I’ll look into what the pay-as-you-go plans are like near me

  • eldavi@lemmy.ml
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    9 days ago

    i’ve been using prepaid sims for over a decade and a half now and it works okay for me since i only use a voip number that forwards to my phones.

    every major carrier i’ve used in the united states have required some sort of identifying information like a state issued id or credit card; maybe the smaller/re-sale carriers will let you use cash.

    • psychonova@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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      9 days ago

      there’s a couple places it’s the only feasible option, especially if you have other limitations such as needing an esim etc

          • tiredofsametab@kbin.run
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            8 days ago

            In Japan, a lot of things don’t take calls from VoiP (+81-050-xxxx-xxxx) numbers. Certain businesses and such won’t accept them as contact info, either, as I discovered trying to rent my first apartment by myself.

            • psychonova@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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              7 days ago

              oof yeah :| Twilio has pretty much made half a business model out of promising that you can refuse VoIP numbers using their APIs soo it’s a real thing

            • psychonova@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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              7 days ago

              honestly, this responses just pisses me off.

              not everyone who needs to be careful with their privacy is fortunate to have a stockpile of money to spend on carriers that are WAY more expensive than they need to be. or reliable internet access.

              i understand that you may not have an answer to the original question of “how do I <x>?”, and you have the opportunity to avoid the situation in the whole and not have to think about it – that’s pretty awesome! but it completely ignores the fact that everyone is in a different situation, with specific and unique needs and context. it reeks of being patronizing tbh.

              we don’t know what this person’s situation is, so the thing to do here is to take them at their word and help them with the problem in front of us. suggestions towards alternative solutions are of course welcome, but things like “not sure why youd want to do that” only serves to show that you don’t understand the situation.

              not everyone has the same choices available to them in their situations, everyone’s threat model is different.