How would one avoid government tracking should they want to do it?

Every time I see a post about contact tracing technology and local health departments there’s always a couple of people coming in saying they wouldn’t install it because they don’t want the government being able to track them.

This got me thinking how would one evade a massive surveillance state.

I’m going to edit to clarify here as evidently this is not completely evident, that the goal of this article was to show that if the government wanted to track you without your consent, they could easily. Your refusal to abide by the social contract to keep your neighbors safe is just you being a jerk and nothing to do with privacy.

Seriously, this is just thinking about it and not a guide. My tinfoil hat sits nicely elsewhere while I am attempting to get a review finished.

Ditch the phone

Given that they’re carrying a cell phone and have probably seen Dateline at some point you know if you’ve got a cell phone, ditch the cell phone. There’s absolutely no way rooted or not, on or off you have to keep carrier firmware from being updated / pushed to chips you and your operating system will never see or have control over.

Even if you don’t have the firmware to worry about you can potentially triangulate where any phone out there is. Stingers set up in metro areas can narrow that down more should they want.

Assuming you’re using the phone, you’ll need to disable location services most likely because they pull data from Google, Apple. Also disable WiFi because many big box stores use this to track you. Even with WiFi and Bluetooth obfuscation there are ways around this.

So phone, pretty much if an agency wants to track you needs to be put away. You can use a blocking bag if you trust them. Every WiFi your phone is around will be reported to a third party if locations services are on.

Mask up

There are millions of IP cameras out there, and many many many of them are connected to services such as Nest, Ring, etc where data is sent out over the internet and in theory private. MMM, no, you’ll need to also disguise who you are to avoid facial recognition and suspicion.

Given cloth masking requirements at the moment this is an ideal time to mask up to avoid being observed with facial recognition software. It also has the added side effect of significantly lowering sputum and DNA left behind should you cough or sneeze.

You can also use face paint to distort your face but chances are you’d be topographically recognizable from the side and instantly suspicious.

Ditch the car

If they can track your face they can track your plate. Many municipalities like Belle Meade, TN have invested in plate tracking equipment and can pretty easily place you within a few blocks.

However, even if you’re not in a municipality that has plate tracking can you be sure you don’t have a bluetooth beacon on your car? Are you sure that there’s not a device sitting at that stop light checking your car’s TMPS sensor IDs and cross referencing them with IDs obtained near a traffic camera?

Pay with cash

Obviously credit, debit, etc cards can be tracked but what’s more the physical cards can in some instances be tracked at a distance. This has lead to the rise of RFID blocking wallets and such. You’ll need one of those if you’re going to carry any ID.

Don’t draw suspicion

This one’s a little more interesting. So you’re doing all the above and you walk into a major chain store without a card, cell phone, and on foot. In the Orwellian surveillance apocalypse you’re the odd one. Maybe going in without a cell phone isn’t particularly strange, but you’re also not carrying RFID that’s visible… ok, no major chain stores.

Don’t talk around people with cell phones

Always listening device? Cell phone nearby? Voice recognition can ID someone pretty easy as well. Meet in the woods.

Change your biometrics

So you’re unchipped, RFID protected, masked, on foot but you’re still identifiable by height, weight, clothing, gait, evident sex, amount of metal in your mouth, etc.

I rather doubt there’ve been any large scale sidewalk pressure sensor installation operations in the past as weight’s a pretty non-item when it comes to tracking people however facial recognition isn’t the only way you can be identified on camera… much like you recognize instinctively someone you know walking toward you before you can see their face, this can be done by computers.


Pretty sure should big brother wish to track who you’ve been around there are ways.

They can easily claim that during a pandemic they have the power, and there’s over 100 years of public health policy since Yellow Fever, the 1918 Flu, etc that back them up in the US alone. My guess is your big Nest/Ring companies are required by law to cooperate.

But in the pandemic, should you wish to not do your part, mask up, chuck your cell phone, walk a lot. Get some fresh air. Think about all the people you don’t care about.

Or you could shut up, install contact tracing software, and actually help out and be notified when someone around you gets sick.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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4 thoughts on “How would one avoid government tracking should they want to do it?

  • “should you wish not to do your part…” Wow, after reading that I’m pretty sure I no longer wish to do my part in supporting Pocketables. Get some fresh air/oxygen to your empathy-starved brain. Should be fine? What about your mother? What about my mother? Contact tracing helps isolate the spread of a deadly disease, and is an important tool in the effort to protect those least able to protect themselves.

    • It should be read as tongue in cheek to what it would actually take to not be tracked should the government want to track you.

      People claim on message boards left and right that they’re not going to install any contact tracing software etc because they don’t want to be tracked… well, this shows how they can be tracked for any reason whatsoever.

      I will edit to clarify that if it’s not completely evident that this is entirely about what a stupid idea that is

      • Thank you, and please accept my apology for my unfair verbal attack. My satire meter is likely out of whack due to the stress of being informed that COVID-19 is stalking the long term care facility that own my mother is at. As in so many other such facilities nationwide, the residents there don’t hardly stand a chance.

        • It’s accepted, and apologies if it originally was not evident. Sometimes I write and it may make sense to me but people think I am really feeling or saying something else. I read and re-read and decided to make sure I clarified.

          I’ve had 3 people I know hit with Covid, one of them is one of the lucky ones who got sick for over 10 weeks (fever, feeling like garbage.) My dad and stepmom have been without seeing anyone except from the driveway for 3 months.

          Let’s hope the Covid vaccine works or the MMR study completes quickly so we can stop worrying about the most vulnerable dying from Covid.


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