sirfartsalot My advise would be to go the BestBuy route. Google ships their phones via FedEX and the likelihood that your phone actually makes it to your home is slim to none. When I purchased my Pixel 6 FedEx delivered to me an empty box as my phone had been stolen en route.
If I hadn't been there to receive it I would have been out $600.00 as from what I've heard Google and FedEX finger point and neither of them cares about resolving the actual issue.
I got Google to refund my money based on my refusal of the delivery and went to BestBuy and bought the same device from them.
The Google rep that refunded my money didn't even bat an eye when I told him FedEx had stolen my phone. He just sighed and processed my refund.
I can't answer any of your privacy related questions but I would avoid the Google store at all costs.