@igeljaeger Best VPNs are the ones you control yourself on the other side, yes. or are a plus to have an internet connection.

I recently bought a new phone and have been trying to remove all the Google tracking. The fun part is that the OS updater doesn't work without the Google Play Services installed.

So, that felt pretty much like that picture: Yes, you can have security updates to protect against trojans, but you also need a trojan installed.

@friend @komun_en Even if you wipe the Google OS, and put a custom ROM on it (Like LineageOS, and no GApps) and use F-droid with only free software, you can still wonder what else on the phone is not to be trusted. Binary blobs for the wifi device is one thing which comes to mind. And why are most phones build in China, the country which we know so little about ? Then there is also our modem and ISP to wonder about #privacy

Yeah, in my quest to remove the Googlier of the Google software, I've been listing (and removing) the installed packages on my phone via the Android Debugging Bridge (ADB) and only just then realized that probably a quarter of the packages on my phone are from Qualcomm and I can at best guess what half of those do. I also doubt that you can find the source code for those.

@friend @komun_en It's not possible to remove Google tracking from a normal Android. You need to unlock the bootloader and load a fork like LineageOS.

@freakazoid @friend @komun_en

Can't update the Samsung browser without giving it permission to see my contacts... wtf?

I dont even use it, but I cant delete it either...

@float13 @freakazoid @friend Try to root it and install instead, it is a privacy and speed optimized fork of Android without Google.

@komun_en @freakazoid @friend

if one were to look for a used phone/tablet to do this with, do you have any recommendations?

mine isn't on the list :(

The OnePlus-devices are usually supported for a long time by the LineageOS devs, if you can find a used one. The same applies for the FairPhone 2 and it's nicely repairable.
Otherwise, I've also heard people having decent luck with the older Samsung flagship phones.
@komun_en @freakazoid

I've nuked a lot of packages via ADB and it feels relatively clean, but yeah, I would prefer to completely wipe it and install a better OS. Unfortunately, LineageOS isn't yet available for this phone, but I bought it specifically because I have hopes for a LineageOS release (FairPhone 3).

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