Google caught tracking phones with location services turned off

What I couldn’t derive from the article is if android phones without google services are affected to. I run LineageOS without google services and no google application whatsoever, am I also a victim of this questionable practise?

1 Like

Not that this makes it any better, but not really surprising ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


… and the tin foil hatters are right yet again.

@kubuksa Lineage is based on AOSP and to my knowledge their code is also open-source. If there had been something nefarious in there, we’d have known it already. This tracking is most likely part of the (closed-source) Google Apps.


By the time they realize we were correct, it’s too late for them.

EDIT: I’m going back to a flip phone.

1 Like

Makes sense, cheers! Now I know why I take the extra effort of updating my applications manually :slight_smile:

Why flip if you can go full brick?



By god, you’re right.

1 Like

Better make it a 2000 or earlier one, you never know what the various 3-letter agencies forced companies to install in their more modern dumbphones.
I alternate between an S7 running Lineage (without Google Apps, of course) and a '00 Nokia 3310. The latter is used mostly for two factor authentication, as it simply can’t be hacked.

I use f-droid instead of the Play Store. No more need to keep track of all your apps individually.
Sure, they have a much smaller selection of apps, but at least they’re all open-source and they all get checked whenever there’s an update. Whenever there’s anything even slightly questionable (ads, promoting non-free addons etc), you get a clear warning about it in the app description.
And if you do have apps that you’d normally downloaded from the Play Store, ApkTrack (available on f-droid) will check when newer versions are available.


Time to test Sailfish I guess :sweat_smile:

1 Like

Government agencies I am not fond of, but thats unavoidable nowadays (or be patrick star and live under a rock). If they cant track you with the phone, they could always track you via the provider. Its the large companies who I completely distrust.

Definitely going to check this out! Currently I have an app which notifies if there are newer versions of apps on apkmirror and provides a link to the download page. Its doable for the 6 apps I have, but a more efficient way would be nice.

1 Like

Holding out for the Librem 5. Not the phone we deserve, but the phone we need right now.

1 Like

Brick Phone master race!

noticed this awhile back. If you unlocked your phone and are still in the android 5.0 or 5.1 version you’re fine. But if you’re on Oreo and Nuogat they keeep turning back. I think it’s the way the OS is written. I remember I used to mess with “Android Device Manager” and it can ring your phone even if it’s off if you lost it etc… But nowadays with, you can do it without linking your phone etc with the ADM app.

Google off switch wiring.
switch on

The article doesn’t make it clear if this can be done without Google Play Services installed. This is concerning, an opt-out isn’t truly an opt-out. Not a surprise in the slightest but still alarming.

It’s not tinfoil hatting if it’s true. Also, can we just call it fucking paranoia? Do we have to use a pejorative which had quickly become an epithet for the privacy-conscious? Can’t we just state the facts?

They also have a ton of useful apps that unfortunately haven’t had an update in years, and therefore have known vulnerabilities. It’s safe to say those are no longer supported.

Fun fact, using privacy guard on lineage I disabled all permissions for “google play services” and my phone drained the battery in about an hour. The app had hundreds of thousands of denied requests to use sensors and network.