Re: Google Fi
It's not "in the guide" because Google is a data-mining monolith not seen since the days of 1984. If you don't mind being part of the evil overmind, you don't have to spend $500 - you can get a Nexus 5X for ~$80-125 on ebay. (I personally really like the Nexus 6, but it's technically at the end of its supports life now and too big for many people.)
Uhg, would I trust Google with everything? No. Would I trust AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, or ANY of their MVNOs? No. Folks should do themselves a favor and proactively protect their own communications. Going with, e.g., Verizon with their supercookie fiasco, and then being worried about Google, seems weird. Trust none of them. Encrypt your data in transit.
Except, certain MVNOs supplement their income and rates with datamining (Google included). It's how they offer the below-market rates for what they're providing that they do, and this is where ethics come into play. By "protecting your privacy" with those specific carriers, you are deliberately withholding and preventing the very datamining you have voluntarily agreed to, preventing access to the very data you agreed to share in the terms of service, keeping them from getting paid for providing your service through the revenue derived from it.Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain. -Deuteronomy 25:4 (NIV)
That is the line between frugal and cheap. Being cheap unfairly deprives people of their wages. What is hateful to you, do not do to your friend. It doesn't matter what the ethics are of the business or people you're dealing with, you only have to answer for how you respond.
It is one thing when it is against your legal consent and will and not a part of the agreement you voluntarily enter into, that is something you have a right to shield yourself against. However, if one hates datamining and prefers privacy and wants to go to lengths to protect those things, one should not do business with a provider that explicitly derives payment from your usage of their services by way of those privacy violating acts, and has you agree to permitting them to do those things in the legal contract for their financial recompense in exchange for lower service rates. Circumventing those things in this situation deprives them of the very revenue derived from that information you agreed to let them use to be paid in exchange for service. Doing this is a hateful thing, and makes your money more important than the well-being of and rightful payment for services rendered by your fellow human being.
Nobody is perfect, and nobody is innocent, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't still strive to do right when and where we can when given the opportunity and clarity to do so.