Is it legal to not have a phone & phone number?

Hey guys,
For a long time I’ve been carrying a Samsung smartphone that I almost never use because I don’t find any value in any of the apps. I do all of my messaging at home and I am considering going 100% phoneless for simplicity and privacy sake.
What I am wondering is whether it’s legal to not have a phone and a phone number at all? For example a lot of govt application forms have a phone number field, a lot of banking application forms have a phone number field and a lot things require 2FA which I think requires a phone as well (in some cases it works with email too).

And my other question is - is it relatively easy to track a person who doesn’t carry a phone via other phones of other people who are around this person?



You aren’t currently required to carry a government surveillance device on your person at all times, yet, in any country of the world.
But for convenience most members of society have at least a land line, if not a cellphone.

Some people remove themselves from the hustle and bustle of normal society, and live completely off grid.
Others have no choice, as vast swathes of land have no cell signal, so a cell phone isn’t an option.
But these groups simply have to deal without the convenience of being able to access the forum on the go at any time.


My God … A day when a country will require a citizen to have a telephone number under pressure and legal threat will mean that the day has come when you should pack your bags and look for a new place to live!

My phone has a removed SIM card at the moment…

If you really need to provide a phone number then buy a virtual number or some cheap separate 2/3G phone and a cheap sim card and keep only at home for the most urgent situations. I do so with prepaid where I have only $2.5 and the number is valid for two years without paying.

2FA you can have anywhere. PC, Laptop, Tablet, dedicated smartphone, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS … You can find OTP applications for everything. I do it, I use an old machine with no access to the network only to 2FA and logs in on another one works perfectly and I do not have to touch the phone, although it is definitely not a mobile solution.


Some countries already have laws requiring an ID card at all times. A cellphone would not be a massive further step, in today’s world.
Not a Great Leap Forward for mankind, but a small step the boiling frog may not jump to avoid…

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I can understand ID and in some sense agree with that. But with a forced phone, I can’t agree. But knowing politicians they are always ready to think of something sick …

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No currently you are not legally forced to have one, but so many things as you point out ask for one and I am not sure there is a way around that if you want to use those services. You could ask but then you are the asshole requiting office staff to work a completely different way to how all their systems work and some of them will probably just blank refuse to deal with the headache.

@TimHolus plenty of schools now require students have a tablet for books and work, get em young… So they will be default have these things going into their life. If children have to have a device, why not everyone? What’s good for the goose and all that crap.


Before it becomes a requirement to have a phone, I think we’d be forced to have a chip implanted instead.

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Definitely not. Phones are easy and friendly. Too many religious nuts would freak out about implants being the devils mark.

They would come later or as an option for people who don’t want a contactable device but still ID. You won’t sell.people over night on stuff like that. Gotta ease them in with something familiar, then maybe an NFC fob or something, then sell the convenience of not carrying or losing it by having an implant version. Baby steps, that’s how you get people to agree to insane stuff.


Wasn’t there something with a Frog and boiling water? :wink:


Your descrinbing a laptop and sure there legal…Connectiong to a mobile network is a contract.

You’re thinking way too hard about this.

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Yes, it is legal to not have a phone and phone number.

ID/SSN might be mandatory, though. For Credit and Criminal tracking.

Seriously. The world is a big, beautiful place. Being this paranoid and terrified of dumb technology (because at the end of the day, it is still very dumb) is no way to go through life. Unplug, go outside, get a dog, start dating, hit up a pub.

Technology isn’t worth the severe degradation of your mental health.

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Someone get op a joint and kick him outside lol.

Legit, OP, theresxno reason to have a phone. Phones aren’t gangstalking devices, they aren’t little chinese spies. Don’t listen to boomers, or be a boomer. A phone is there to be convenient. I hack my phones to learn how they work. Its… fun. And to be frank, if your phone doesn’t do anythitg for you but get you robocalls and be an annoying pile of shit, then pull the sim, buy a ting sim, sell it on ebay, don’t worry about it.

And if your kids bitch at you put a rabid seagull in their car.

Already being done to some degree in Sweden, not forced tho. When it comes to religious nut jobs, there aren’t that many here that it would be a problem. However, with the facial recognition and camera surveillance, all that’s needed is social status points like in China. At that point, forced phone is bordering to not even be worth the hassle.

But who knows, with all the fear mongering these days, I don’t think it would be too difficult for a politician to pull something out of their ass. Was done here, all phones are being tracked and logged, against human rights. Under the pretends that it’s needed to prevent terrorist attacks.

Indeed. Just not always possible.

For that, they’d have to know who you associate with. Facebook, Twitter, phone logs, etc. Anything that digitally links you to them. Best friend is a gang member, you’d be attached to his gang as an associate.

Tried this one myself, on the pretends of it being a routine inquiry when I got stopped, more than once. All because we’d been observed chatting a handful of times, and my car was in his driveway when police drove past auto scanning license plates.

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As an interim step you might want to consider a simple dumb phone. The other thing, just because you have one doesn’t mean you have to have it on you.

I know a couple of people that have a mobile phone but it lives in their car. Just in case they break down, it’s in the car and turned off.

So maybe that is the answer, turn it off until you want to use it. You are going to get some great battery life :slight_smile:

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I wouldn’t necessarily do that during every season. Be it summer with 50°C+ in the car or winter with -10°C (or even lower in some regions), batteries don’t like that.

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Are landlines privacy-friendly?

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I carry a Galaxy s6 with no active service simply because I can’t afford the service, its essentially a small wifi tablet and I don’t get robocalls, take that boomers

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Landlines are probably the least privacy friendly thing out there haha!

In all seriousness though, as much as there’s a the potential for a lot of nefarious goings on with smartphones and even dumb mobiles, the majority of tracking is just used to make money off your usage of free software. Don’t use the software - you don’t really have much to be worried about.

If you’re super tinfoil hat, you can also look at it on the flipside and say that smartphones enable more privacy via encrypted calls and messaging, and the ability to use stuff like VPNs (which you shouldn’t 100% trust for privacy unless you run the other end, also).

Phones are in no way compulsory, but as others and yourself have already stated, they’re a technology that you’re just expected to have for convenience sake. Managing a world as connected as ours without the ability to instantly call or text someone, especially from a governmental point of view, would be hell.

Unless you’re an obvious target for hackers/whoever because of your career or whatever, there’s no real reason to forgo your own convenience for the tiny amount of privacy you might scrape back.

It’s super easy to tap in landlines. Like 33 Thomas Street which is a telephone switch with the NSA in it