Threat Model downgrade, justification for getting an IPhone. Moral conflicts

This might be a bit of a long read so I apologize in advance,

In 2021, I started my privacy journey because I got doxxed. In an effort to cover up my tracks with a paranoid state, I dove into the rabbit hole with the mistake of not properly threat modeling resulting in more extreme measures taken.

I’m just a kid that’s going to graduate high school next year. I’m no target of stalking or whatsoever. My threat model is relatively low. I just hate big tech companies collecting unnecessary data about me. This is why I had quit social media.

A consequence of this is all my friends use apple devices and have a presence on platforms like Instagram. I feel disconnected and distant from them because of not using IMessage. I can’t get anyone on signal.

I want to get an IPhone and I want to sign up for these services for communication and convenience but again, it just feels wrong to me to give these companies my money and data.

I will hate missing FOSS apps, I will hate having to see ads on youtube, I will miss the freedom of customization on android.

One part of just feels like if I get an IPhone, It’s obviously not the end of the world but to me it’s like the matrix taking the blue pill, waking up the next day and remembering the red pill exists.

I have a problem with apple in general with their practices. They lobby against things like right to repair, don’t get me started on the privacy practices. I don’t want to support a company that actively fucks it’s users but I want to tone down on this privacy lifestyle more.

With what government does today and is about to do no one really has a low threat model. From what you have written I don’t see any reason listed why you would really want and iphone. iMessage is a proprietary mess. Far better to be on Android and set your messenger to be through Signal imho. Why do anything that makes you feel like you are taking the blue pill? It is not like you are missing anything only iPhone has that is worth it.

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The ecosystem despite being a walled garden is quite an efficient interconnect one among it’s users imo

have a look at this post which talks about your exact concerns:

it’s a really long read but will give you plenty of information on privacy, software/apps, and people using various messaging services.

if u can’t find anything you like then have a look here:

kind of an extra step but maybe it’s worth the effort. it’s also good for messaging. also have a quick look here:

Look, YOU need to create your own threat model. Not me, or anyone else in this community. This model needs to fit with your own needs. Just look at this own communities Quiz thread, and you’ll find that none of us are perfect. We have threat models that fit us.

If you feel like you are missing out, that you’re not happy on your current privacy stance, take a step back and reflect. If just swapping a single device can make you more happy, more mentally healthy, go for it. Just a couple of things to note:

  1. Most of the data on your iPhone will stay on it. There has been countless studies on Apple harvesting phone data that have came up empty. Just try to avoid iCloud backups. That’s where the privacy invasion is done. Some of it is E2E though, take a look.
  2. Some FOSS apps are on IOS.
  3. You can use YouTube ad free. There are FOSS apps, like uYou+. You could also just use the Brave Browser which blocks ads.

I understand that feel man.
The worst part is I believe they won’t move because of inconvenience of another app, and the fact they are trapped in their already infested ecosystem of apple products.

If it is really needed, getting a secondhand iPhone with an alias and maybe nickname would be the best bet for communication with them, or trying once again and having one on one talks as to why it’s important, your side of the story.
Even show them how easy it is to set up, and mention they can say anything they may regret on imessage, then the same thing on Signal where that will always be encrypted.
Dont force it on them, and bring it up when you can.
No one said moving was going to be easy and unfortunately, that’s the downside. I was luck to move my friends to Signal since I have so little.

What type of phone do you have now?

I don’t get it. You want to use an iPhone because you want to use iMessage? Can’t u like keep using android and just SMS them? (Yes, I know the RCS issue).

What is your actual reason for getting an iPhone compared to getting a Google Pixel with GOS and having different profiles for FOSS, for social media and so on?
You will be able to message them, either through SMS or they switch to a good communication application like Signal.

To me it doesn’t sound like you want to get an iPhone, it sounds like you don’t want to loose your friends.
Try to analyze if privacy and security (and potentially freedom) is more important to you, or friends that make you feel like you should leave your personal privacy and security behind. This is something only you can decide, nobody will be able to give you an answer you’re looking for.

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Yeah I get what you mean, sometimes I forget no perfect threat model exists for everyone. Ty

I’m running calyx os on pixel 4a.

None of my friends use SMS for communication. I’ve tried it before but compared to other platforms, how much they wrote and the time spent chatting with me was very different.

You’re not wrong about me being scared to lose my friends, after all- I graduate in a year and people I have met are taking different paths in life.

I think the main reason I want to switch is because I feel left out. Small stuff like being able to play imessage games and using airdrop, etc. Not to mention I think my current threat model is too overkill for what my actual situation is.

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In my opinion, if it feels like that lack of iMessage on your part is keeping you from your friends, just switch to an iPhone. If you don’t have an advanced threat model then I don’t think you should push yourself to extremes that hurt you in other ways.

If you still want to keep companies away from your data where reasonable do so, it doesn’t have to be extremely one way or another start with the foundation of an iPhone that has iMessage. Then see what security and privacy walls you can raise while still keeping the functionality you need to get by.

You’re in your last year of school. Don’t sacrifice this time with friends for a privacy fight that won’t go away. If you’re looking for permission to reprioritize, just let yourself do it. :+1:

Last note: iPhones can be configured so that they’re pretty good for privacy. Maybe not Graphene/Calyx levels of privacy, but still pretty good. Start with the Techlore guide for iOS. I don’t think you should feel like you’re making a real downgrade by switching to iPhone. Given your threat model, it seems like you’ll still be in a great spot.