Hi
If I factory reset an android 6. will google play services, and apps link the new identity to the old one. by the use of IMEI, mac adresses and google advertising id ?

@AgreeableLandscape
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Google advertising ID might change (even if it does, it’ll be pretty useless if you log onto the same Google account), but not IMEI or MAC. Apps can also fingerprint your device sensors by looking for unique imperfections in their measurement, and there is no permission control to stop this in Android.

@dragonX
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Is it possible to change the IMEI, WIFI and Bluetooth MAC addresses on this version of android?
If so could it cause problems?
and is it worth the hassle?
I don’t want Whatsapp to link the two but they can figure it out if I connect to the same WIFI . Have no intention of adding a google account!

Pontifex Maximus
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Last time I asked about how one might change the IMEI everyone yelled at me assuming I was doing something extremely illegal for some reason. It was a bizarre experience.

@alexandre9099
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You could without knowing collide with another valid IMEI, that might be considered cloning and you could get in trouble, however, if you keep the phone in airplane mode and just use wifi it shouldn’t be a problem.

There was this app called xprivacy lua that could spoof basically everything, but it required xposed which triggered safety net (no idea if that changed by now)

You can also use the work profile (not sure if that was already present on android 6), that way you can turn the application on just for a few seconds to see what’s new and then turn it back off. Shelter does that job of managing the work profile

@dragonX
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Sometimes, this same reaction could come from people who care about their privacy and yet trust walled gardens like apple with every thing they do on their iphone.
I truly can’t fathom what is their concept of privacy. is it putting their trust in party a but not party B.

@AgreeableLandscape
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I don’t know unfortunately. A solution would simply be to stop using Whatsapp though,

@dragonX
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I wish but all my clients either use whatsapp or viber!
And I am not expecting it to change any time soon.

@AgreeableLandscape
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You could always get a cheap burner phone for those privacy invading apps. Another possible solution is to run Android-x86 from a virtual machine.

@dragonX
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I might go back to doing that!
I have installed Android-x86 in the past and dual booted into it. but I have had so many problems with either apps not running on X86 architecture. or problems with the play services not updating easily. graphics cards problems…
I wanted to reuse an old smartphone. but a burner phone could be better
thanks

@robb
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Yep. If needed for work / school, use a second phone only for those purposes. That way they will just fingerprint a business / student entity only, and not a person.

@dragonX
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Exactly, I just need to know if I used an old or refurbished smartphone, could the new and the old identities linked either by google or apps like whatsapp and co.

@robb
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Oh. Yeah, the link will be made. I think their sofrware will not make it obvious though.

You won’t get same ads as before. But their algorithms will detect a new identity and link it to the previous one for that device. Based on the behaviour of the new identity, the algorithm will assume either that the new identity is a family member, a completely new person who bought the phone second hand, or the same person as before with new credentials.

@Axaoe
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For the IMEI is is not possible for most users, there could be a way but it’s not going to be feasible for most.

https://outline.com/vjkXXv for a relatively readable/clean source (originally from here - https://www.gadgetsnow.com/faqs/can-someone-change-the-imei-number-of-my-phone/articleshow/76934698.cms)

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