Many of our customers live and or work in places or situations where they don't feel safe and turning their phone off is not something they want to do (GoDark is sold globally, not just the US). Turning your phone off will likely prevent phone tracking (though no certainty... see next question), but it also takes much longer to power up your phone or take photographs in an emergency than it does to simply pull the phone out of the bag and wait 2 seconds for it to reconnect to the network. These are rather niche situations that apply to specific groups more than others. Journalists, activists, stalking victims etc. are just a few groups that fit this situation and there are many others.
However, the way most people typically use the bag is for selective privacy. If they are going somewhere that they would prefer not to be another data point in their location tracking history (ie. clinic, divorce lawyer, church, political rally, weed store etc...) it's easier and faster to simply put the phone in the bag while you go in the store and take it out when you're sufficiently far from the store, or church, or your AA meeting.
People who really want more control over their privacy and are using our GoDark Bag tell us the biggest benefit is that they actually use it more often than they are willing to reboot their phones. Phones don't take long to reboot, but most people looking for more privacy eventually give up on turning their phone off and on 10 times a day and consider it a pain in the ass. Because it's far easier to simply drop the phone in the bag and take it out when you want it, they tend to actually do it more often and thus increase their privacy in the process.
We feel privacy matters which is why we made the bag. For some it matters more than others depending on their situation. The GoDark Bag is a niche product that reduces the inconvenience of taking the privacy action enough so that people actually take action and do it rather than give up on constantly rebooting their phone. Unfortunately when it comes to privacy, people need things to be easy and convenient or they won't do it. It doesn't get any easier than taking your phone in and out of a bag. No apps or software to install or deal with. No need for wizard level IT security skills. It's just a bag that anyone can understand and use. People leave them in the glove box of their car, hand bag or laptop case for when they want to use it.
Journalists, activists, stalking victims, military, law enforcement and privacy conscious consumers from all over the world buy the GoDark Bag and their reasons for doing so vary quite a bit. It would be even more long winded if I were to try to cover all the use cases we've come across, but I hope this gives an idea of how and why some people use GoDark Bags.
Some security researches have speculated for years now that it is indeed possible. The Baseband is the subsystem in cell phones that operates the radio transmitter & receiver. This Baseband is not controlled by the main operating system in your phone and is instead separately controlled by its own proprietary real-time operating system. With the Baseband having its own access to the battery power it's believed that it might be possible to ping a cell phone even when it is off. It has been rumored for many years now that military drones have used the Baseband to target people even when their cell phone is off.
Yes, GoDark Bags will block COVID contact tracing apps. All contact tracing apps that we're aware of make use of Bluetooth signals from your mobile phone. GoDark Faraday Bags blocks all incoming and outgoing Bluetooth signals, as well as Cell, GPS and WiFi.
Unfortunately many phones and apps have repeatedly been caught disregarding location services and recording location data anyways. In addition to this, regardless of locations services settings, your phone is connecting to cell towers and your location recorded by your carrier. In the past several years these carriers have been caught selling this location data. They promised to stop. Then they got caught again. There is little trust they will not keep doing it.
No, airplane mode will not protect you from location tracking. Setting your phone to airplane mode only prevents your phone from transmitting, not receiving. Your location history is still recorded by your phone and transmitted later when you reconnect. The GoDark Faraday Bag prevents this by blocking incoming GPS, Cell, Wifi and Bluetooth signals used by your phone to record your location. With nothing being recorded, there is nothing to later share or transmit.
This hasn't really been a problem with any newer smartphones made in the past 2-3 years. Old phones were, well, less smart. They would just continuously try to recapture the signal while boosting strength and in turn draining the battery faster. Newer phones are smarter in how they check for signals and use much less battery. We tested several iphones, samsung and even a OnePlus 5, by putting them in the bag when they were 80% charged for an 8 hour period and none of them drained more than 9% over an 8 hour period. Older phones from 5 years ago probably had this problem, but our customers have not reported issues with overly excessive battery drain from using our GoDark Faraday Bag.
The GoDark Faraday Bag is designed to block ALL incoming and ourgoing signals so no, your phone should not ring while it's in the bag. The bag was designed first and foremost to protect your privacy from location tracking. This is why the signal blocking is much stronger than what is typically found in cheaper cases where people still want the phone to ring, but are concerned about potential health issues and simply want to reduce their EMF exposure a little. Our bag reduces EMF exposure significantly!
When you place your phone in the GoDark Bag it will cut off any incoming and outgoing signals to your phone. This means you will not receive any calls, text messages or app notifications. However, when you decide you want to reconnect and you remove the phone from the bag it will reconnect to the network and begin to receive all your notifications and messages you missed while it was in the bag. Any calls or voice messages should also come through.
When your phone is in the bag your phone carrier can't find the phone so it treats it as though it is simply off or out of range. When the phone is removed and reconnects to the network it will have the same behavior as if the phone was in fact off or out of network range.