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.


@Blort This is exactly the plan: enough suckers will have no second thoughts about “sharing” intimate details with a semi-sentient megacorp that they attain total surveillance.

I was skittish about Google before I was coerced to get one for a job. I’m STILL weeding google tendrils. Now I loathe them with the fire of a million suns. Google is the very devil, as is every bit of code they touch.

Enough of this. Bring on the Linux phones.

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.

I keep my location off whenever I'm not using it, all of my privacy settings for Google are to not save location history, and I have the Google Maps app disabled (the closest you can get to deleting it)

They make it extremely hard to do, and you have no real way to verify that they're not collecting location data anyway, but there are things you can do that may minimize the amount of data collected

Unfortunately it's also very time consuming because Google likes to create "new" privacy settings from time to time where data collection is enabled by default so you have to come up with a schedule of scouring through settings menus on your phone and on Google's websites

@steven @Blort also.... all other phones see your wifi mac address and send that to google, if their location service is enabled.

Turning it of, doesn't mean google does not know your location - it only means they stop asking you how you feel.

@NHonigdachs @steven

What's interesting about using mac addresses to create shadow profiles is that even using a non Google phone (eg Linux / Apple) wouldn't stop them from profiling you. Like most things though, while it may not stop them 100%, it's still assisting them less than using a bunch of their products directly.

@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 yes, I can confirm I know people who have this happen to them. They use GMaps but still

Exactly, it happens every now and then even if you keep location turned off. I thought that it was because I'm a part of Google Local Guides, but apparently it the same for everyone with gmaps installed/enabled.

@Blort Or just disable Google Maps in your system settings.

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 @grainloom yeah it’s an option you can turn off, where it asks for advice. Yes it’s annoying.

I also love how in google photos I’ve said not to tag location, them after a day about it offers up an album of photos taken in a certain location I’ve been to!

I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving location off.

It does show how google matches up data though, good to be aware of. Metadata is king.

@Blort if you have wifi and gps turned on, it doesn't matter which app you did or didn't open.

@lyliawisteria @Blort Yeah. Google Play Services alone has all the data it needs. Looking forward to getting that last piece out myself

@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.

@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.

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