When I want to register an account with Gmail now, it says "Google will send a text message containing a verification code to your mobile phone."
I don't want to give Google my mobile phone number!!
How do I get around this?
There are several options available:
Update: even if you verify by text message, the phone number won't appear in your settings.
This is a measure that Google has put in place to try to prevent spammers signing up for hundreds Gmail accounts that they'll use and then throw away. It effectively limits one Gmail account per phone number. The only way around this is if you already have a Google account that they trust, you can then use that to create a Gmail address and account. Google accounts are not necessarily the same as Gmail accounts, you can create a Google Account using any email address that you already have.
Presumably, you already have another free webmail account from another provider, one that isn't linked to anything immediately personally identifiable? If so you can use that to sign up for a Google account.
Go to www.google.com (or your local version) and click on the Sign in link in the top right corner
Now click on Create An Account (or whatever they change the exact wording to today). And create the account with any email that you already have (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc)
Now go to your account, and you should see a list of the Google services that account is signed up for, along with a link saying something like "Try Something New" and the chance to sign up for a Gmail account.
Select that and it should take you to Gmail sign up as an already trusted user, and shouldn't require a mobile number any more.
The easy is to buy a phone card and use that particular phone number. Where I live, I can buy a phone card for less than $10.
If you go as far as asking a question to avoid this bit of privacy loss, I think you would do it...
Actually, Gmail uses this to prevent abuse of the system and prevent a robot from registering many accounts at once. As far as I know, they do not track your data with it.
This Google Support page strongly implies you cannot create a Google Account without giving them a phone number.
You can create multiple accounts that use the same phone number, but they don't mention the actual number allowed on the support page.
That said, it doesn't actually have to be your phone number. It could be a friend's. Or, there are several services online that will let you receive SMS messages without a phone.
Of course, this will not help if they notice suspicious activity and what to message you to confirm your identity, or if you lose control of the account and need to recover it.