WTF?! My non-rooted phone had Maps pre-installed, but I only use for navigation etc.

Yesterday, I walked to a local restaurant, without using my phone, and had lunch there before walking back.

I never opened .

Today, I find a notification from Maps:
How was {restaurant name}?
Rate places to get smarter recommendations.

So it tracked and calculated where I ate without even opening my phone or the app.

Definitely time for /

What's next? If I have lunch with a friend there:

Please rate the conversation with Andrea and her religious/political leanings for better recommendations.


When you have Google Location Accuracy turned on, your phone uses these sources to get the most accurate location:
Mobile networks

You can still disable it. But ist opt-out.

@Blort Chances are it was running in the background the whole time. Doesn't help location services and places agreeing to operate beacons on the premises are out to get you too.
It's a Google service, so it has access to stuff from the background I guess. You could turn your location data off to stop it?


I used Jolla's Sailfish OS as a daily driver since 2013. No problems, and if i ever need an Android app, the compatibility layer has worked on every single one such as Telegram.

@Linux if only #Jolla would liberate their proprietary components in the #Sailfish UI ...

@strypey @Blort

In the meantime, i think one should just use it, rather than Google Android :thinkhappy:


TBH I haven't done anywhere near enough research to really know the viability of each of the options mentioned, so I'm wondering:

Replicant - how much does it free you from proprietary g services as opposed to just the code?

UBports - Is it actually basic feature complete or still alpha?

PostmarketOS - isn't this more just a low level base? Does it actually have userland apps?

PureOS - Is this available on any device before the LibreM 5?

@Blort @strypey PureOS is not available on anything other than the Librem5 at this point.

@bpetty true for now, but I expect #PureOS will be ported to the #PinePhone, and to other Android mobiles liberated to run a mainline kernel by the #PostmarketOS project. It's an exciting time for mobile #SoftwareFreedom.

@strypey @Blort Absolutely! The only thing stopping ports right now is essentially drivers.

> #Replicant - how much does it free you from proprietary g services as opposed to just the code?

It takes #LineageOS (formerly #CyanogenMod) and strips out any remaining nonfree code. Which is why it runs on fewer devices and needs a wifi dongle. #FDroid is the default app installer. Out of the box, it contains no support for proprietary Goggle apps. The user can add any Android compatible stuff they like, but if you want to use some nonfree code, might as well stick with Lineage.

> UBports - Is it actually basic feature complete or still alpha?

I haven't tried it, but AFAIK it's a continuation of #UbuntuTouch, and from memory, there were commercial devices sold with that OS before the project was canned by Canonical. So I expect it's pretty complete.

> #PostmarketOS - isn't this more just a low level base? Does it actually have userland apps?

I don't know much about this project yet. But my impression is their goal is get a standard GNU/Linux base system running on an Android device, which can then be used with #GNOME, #KDE, or any other DE that has a touchscreen version. I presume they will supply ready-to-use ROMs with these for each device they liberate.

Highly recommend disabling the GMaps app, as well as anything else you don't need.

Also if your phone has a setting for it, make sure "Location" is set to "GPS only", not using WiFi and mobile networks.

@Blort or @FairPhone2
they have their own AOSP- Fairphone OpenOS.
Modell 3 users have to wait, the opensource OS isn't finished yet.
but others may be.

@Blort But you surely have Google Play Services on your phone. That's the key.

(If you're unhappy with this, you could try [if supported on your device] using plain LineageOS without GApps, or LineageOS with microG if you need things like Google Maps but don't want Google tracking you when you're not using the Maps app.)

Yeah disabling Google apps &/or switching off their permissions will help against this

Best get a phone with a close #AOSP fork. Like #LineageOS, or better one of the new wave of open source privacy & security focused #AOSP forks. #CalyxOS #GrapheneOS #RattlesnakeOS #HashbangOS
Get all the solid security & privacy features from AOSP (big improvements in recent years)
AOSP doesnt spy on you & is much more secure than desktop linux ported to a phone @Blort

@dazinism @emacsomancer @Blort I always recommend getting #Replicant into phones or tablets, if you don't know how to do that, don't worry, you can always ask or hire people to do so.

While I like the idea of Replicant & devices without blobs/proprietary code, the reality of smartphone hardware is that such stuff is necessary

Supported devices are very old, theres countless public vulnerabilities in component firmware (can only be patched by manufacturers as they need to sign firmware)& drivers (imagine arent patched due to complexity)

Glad theres the new wave of AOSP forks, not really less free than Replicant. Giving great security & privacy
@emacsomancer @Blort

@Blort Even with geo location off, they can still use #UltraSoundCrossDeviceTracking / #uXDT to get to know where you are if you happen to carry a software capable of generating such information (most of the times this is generated by non-free software) or by apps that use the HTML5 "audio" element/tag (since so many apps are just web pages nowadays) with a file whose sound is inaudible yo us. See , talk by @mikegerwitz .

@Blort did you have bluetooth enabled? I know there's some function that uses Bluetooth beacons to track your visits to commercial venues.

There's an option to disable it hidden deep in the Google Maps menu somewhere.


No, I never have Bluetooth enabled. I suspect the culprit was having location set to high accuracy and not having disabled Maps.

The thing about disabling maps though is that it may take away the notification, but I suspect it won't remove the actual tracking and back end analysis of it that led to them keeping a list of where I eat...

@Blort the option to turn off that tracking is buried deep in the Maps or Google Account options menu and I'm not sure where, it gets moved every now and then during their "UI reorganizing".

There's also several different options for different kinds of location tracking and analysis so you have to get them all.

@polychrome @Blort Shutting off tracking should be easier than Pokemon. But we live in the bad timeline.
@Blort There is /e/ os (eelo), which is degoogled android.

Google is CREEPY as HELL! Google is even following you if there is no sim in the phone

I've faked my location with ...

Private Location (Keep your phone location private) -



I dont think that apps like this can be relied upon. Within android apps dont have sufficient privileges to reliably block other apps communication with the operating system.
There are ways apps like this can spoof your location (or other data), but there are easy ways for apps to work around it.
Its entirely possible for an app to pretend it believes your spoofed location, while observing your real location. @Blort

@Blort The user visible part of this is the Google Location Timeline. You should be able to disable this.
There are probably other ways too, like explicitly revoking location permissions from the maps app. It might be the Google Services that collect location though, so might need to disable that.
It's somewhat easier to opt the specific device out of location collection or remove the google account from the device.

@Blort you can disable everything on googlephone, but it is disabled only for you, it is on for google 24/7.


And that's just the part they're showing me in the user interface... $DIETY knows what calculations they're doing in the background...

@Blort Did you have Wi-Fi or the SIM cards enabled? Android has a "low power use but inaccurate" geolocation system that can fetch location data without having to turn to the battery-heavy GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO systems. Basically they know which telco cell cover which area, and what APs are available where.

@Blort "Airplane mode" or removing SIMs isn't a solution either as in most countries phones are mandated by law to always connect to a base station and allow calling emergency services... which means there is a base station somewhere which means your device (often called U.E. in the telco world) has some coordinates to fetch (this is how EMS locates your device if you can't say where you are).

@Blort Installed apps, especially system apps, especially on a non-rooted phone also have *a lot* of privileges. The phone doesn't need to be used (i.e. in your hands and unlocked) for them to run (true for normal apps too if they require and given the perms), they can interrupt and wake the phone up in the background to probe for geo cords. And if there's no WiFi or data, they can ride it out until you eventually connect and send the stuff home. Apps can also turn data on/off.

@tuttifruttihat @Blort I have a lineage os 16 with gapps installed and a g*****e account, but... I turned on the lineage privacy thing for system applications which means it can protect me from g*****e play services. From times to times I see a popup of it asking to record audio, video or get the GPS and I say NO. There's an old phone which I want to test microG instead of gapps. I'll toot the results


That's awesome that you can get Lineage to ask before a system app uses location/audio/camera etc. I've always wanted that feature! Time to look into whether Lineage will run on my latest phone...


@Blort Can confirm. Mine did that too, for the longest time.

You can opt-out, but really, it should emphatically not be the default.

@Blort do disable the app (as you likely cannot uninstall it)

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