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I cannot do anything about government agencies, but I doubt that they are interested in me.

I do not like the idea of Google, FaceTweet, etc, compiling data on me.

What's the best way to prevent them doing so, if I purchase a smartphone - buy a pay as you go (unregistered) SIM, or use only public WiFi? Would a Linux 'phone make a major difference?

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    What type of tracking are you talking about? What type of data do you not want them compiling? – schroeder Mar 19 '20 at 7:24
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The SIM card is always the same and some mobile ISP actually add information related to the SIM to each HTTP request (not HTTPS). The public WiFi you use does not need to be the same though. Thus in theory using different public WiFi could provide more privacy.

But in practice the tracking is less done by IP address and more based on information on the device itself: cookies and cache related information in the browser, device-specific ids of mobile apps etc. Thus, unless you first and rigorously care about these trackable information the choice of SIM vs. WiFi or iOS vs. Android vs. whatever does not actually matter.

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