De-Googling Part One

Published 2020-05-25 on Owen Salter's Blog - Permalink

Taking a look at my use of Google and their… not-great history of privacy, I’ve been spending my spare time over the past few years working on, if it’s not possible to completely get off their platform, then at least minimize my use of it.

Frankly, I think I’ve been fairly successful. So far I’ve migrated my email from Gmail to Migadu, and I’ve been working more and more on using services like Disroot’s Nextcloud instance instead of Google Drive. DuckDuckGo has been my default search engine for the past year. Those were really the only two Google services I used.

Why?

The answer to this question can be either simple or complicated depending on who you ask. To me, Google has grown far too big to be truly concerned about data privacy, and their near-monopoly makes me deeply uneasy. I would much rather that my data be held in a place where I can have a certain level of trust that they won’t sell my data or lock me into a walled garden.

How?

This is what I’m going to try and answer over the next few posts on this subject. This post is going to outline my goals and reasoning behind this, and the next few will go into how I did it.

There are a few major services that I use(d) Google for. They are, in no particular order:

  • Mail
  • Drive
  • Calendar
  • Website Analytics
  • Contacts
  • Photo Storage

Some of these I’ve already replaced with other services. For example, as I mentioned before, Mail and Drive have been replaced with Migadu and NextCloud, respectively. Some will be more difficult, however. Photo Storage needs a lot of disk space, and Contacts needs to be able to be synced with my mail clients easily. I’m not sure exactly how much effort all this will take, but I’ll get there.

As to what I’m going to be replacing them with, that varies based on the service.

Overall Requirements

I would much prefer that my data be self-hosted. That may not always be possible, especially for things like Drive and Photos that I fill up quickly with files. For things like Contacts, Mail, and Analytics, there are open-source alternatives that I can host myself. For my next post, I’ll focus on my migration from Gmail to Migadu, and what I can potentially do to move from Migadu to a self-hosted email service.


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