I’ve stopped using services that ask me for my phone number upon registration because they want to “verify that you’re a human and to prevent abuse” simply because they lie about how they’re gonna use that phone number.
They’re not just using it to send you a TOTP code. They keep your phone number linked to your account in their database.
Click to expand | Screenshots
When you create an account for ChatGPT they ask you to verify that you’re not a bot. Which is understandable. You’d hope they don’t save your phone number. But they do. Same goes for Discord. The screenshots clearly show that they do know what my phone number was.
we can do what we can for now, but avoiding such intrusive practices is gonna become a lot more difficult as time goes on
welcome to the technocratic future that even Orwell hadn’t imagined
Verified this with other services which I shared in this forum.
I tried once for a year to do nothing that required a mobile number… By the end I was unable to make a doctors appointment (doctors office needed to send a confirmation via text or call) or log in to my bank (text only 2fa). I used only totp apps like aegis.
After that year i took a management position that requires me to be available by phone.
My dream is to one day go numberless and use a data only sim
It’s much harder to lose access to a phone number than to an authenticator app or Yubikey, making it a good recoery option, not considering sim swapping attacks.
I try to avoid such services to. If I can’t, I try to use SMSPool. It’s such bullshit that they always claim “Security” or “Preventing abuse” when in reality they just want more data to sell. Scumbags.
There are several services you can use for getting a disposable phone number to pass a phone number verification. SMSPool is a pretty popular one and you can also pay with Monero. I have used it quite a bit for several things including ChatGPT.
VirtualSIM.net is another one I’ve personally used and really like. It’s a bit more expensive ($2 per code) compared to SMSPool but so far I had 100% success rate with it for any account registration I tried it for.
In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Online Anonymity you can also find few more alternatives that accept Monero.
I’m pretty sure Google does this as well. And if you set a recovery phone number, they start using this phone number for tracking purposes.
I like Anonymsms as a temporary phone number thing, usually you can find a number that works.
I think Google doesn’t require phone number verification to verify you’re not a robot if you’ve got the worst security practices ever on your machine . Meaning:
You use Google Chrome, on a Windows PC, no VPN/Tor. No privacy extensions either. If you do this , they won’t ask for phone number verification when you make an account.
You could make your account on a public computer, and change the password when you get home.