Browsers privacy?


I just installed /e/ on my Samsung Galaxy S9, and I’m about to install an internet browser.
On my desktop PC I use Opera: I think that browser is awesome.
So I was about to install Opera on /e/ as well but I wanted to check its Privacy rating on /e/ App store first: 0/10!! :flushed:
Then, I compared with Google Chrome browser: its privacy rating is 9/10!!

The most surprising to me is probably that, still according to Chrome Privacy rating in the /e/ App store, Google Chrome has zero trackers (yes, not a single one!! :flushed:), whereas Opera has 9 trackers (!!).
That point doesn’t make sense to me: Opera has a “Block trackers” built-in function so how can it be assessed as having 9 trackers?!! Or does it mean Opera blocks trackers, but uses its own trackers in the same time?
It’s confusing.
And particularly the fact that Google Chrome doesn’t have any tracker (according to /e/ App store Privacy rating): that is even more surprising.

What are your thoughts on that?
Does it really mean Google Chrome is more respectful of my privacy than Opera? I have high doubts on this.
Or does it mean the apps Privacy rating on /e/ App store is kind of non reliable?

Happy to hear you on that point!

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

Probably no need for extra trackers, the whole piece of the software tracking every move you make :wink:

I think much better options when it comes to respect for privacy are (in no particular order):

  • Browser: /e/'s default browser based on Bromite/Chromium

  • Bromite

  • Mull: From Divest OS, fork of Firefox with proprietary blobs removed and using arkenfox’ user.js for more privacy tweaks.

You might want to have a look at


The results are accurate. The privacy rating is probably based on Exodus Privacy which looks for signatures of known trackers. Google is an advertisement company and their browser Google Chrome is designed to be a huge tracker without the need of third party tools. In contrast Opera browser needs to have those third party trackers that are being detected.

Do not confuse the ad-blocker that Opera and other browsers have built-in, which works while browsing the web, with the trackers that are embedded in the app.

It’s also worth mentioning that many of those trackers are not actually blocked, because that would mean that a lot of websites would not load properly. This trade-off between privacy and usability makes sense because a browser that doesn’t load websites properly is not a good browser, even if it’s not actually their fault, and so a lot of people wouldn’t use them and lose money. Nevertheless, allowing some of the worst offenders in terms of tracking (e.g., facebook, google, etc.) pretty much defeats the purpose of including and ad-blocker in the first place.

Speaking in terms of privacy (without considering other factors like security and features) I do not recommend neither Google Chrome nor Opera. On Android devices, Bromite is probably the best alternative to Chromium-based browsers (such as Google Chrome and Opera). In fact /e/'s default browser is based on Bromite. Fennec is another great alternative based on Firefox.

On desktop/laptops I recommend using Ungoogled Chromium, which is exactly what is sounds like, and Firefox with uBlock Origin. If you like Opera, you probably will also like Vivaldi Browser created by the one of the founders of Opera. They do have a lot of innovation and I quite like them, but I haven’t tried their Android version still.


I can highly recommend the Vivaldi app. I’ve been using it since the beginning and I’m very pleased. It works great and has a tracker / ad blocker included.


Brave. It has at least also desktop versions for several OS and a synchronization mechanism.

To my point of view, Vivaldi may be a good app but the important thing is proprietary (even if it’s based on several free components) so no one can audit the whole code of this browser and/or fork it to remove possible spywares in it. You need to blind trust Vivaldi Technologies who make a part of their business from that freeware.
I understand people could choose it, i cannot.
(remark not meant to buzz, thanks)


I’m gonna give Bromite a try, thanks !
I’m nowadays using Icecatmobile with uBlock origin and Privacy Badger, do you know of any privacy problems for Icecatmobile ?

Vivaldi published a blog post to address these concerns, which are as common as they are valid. Not including any third-party code, only the UI layer in Vivaldi is not released under an open-source license. It’s based on web technologies so, while minified, you can examine it as some people have already done. It’s a heck of a job I don’t recommend to anyone but it just shows that with effort you can verify that there is no shady stuff going on there. All in all, I understand where they stand on open-source and I’m happy they are at least making some innovations as opposed to other browsers which tend to go in the same direction.

I’ve heard of GNU IceCat but I wasn’t aware they had a mobile version. I’m sure privacy-wise it’s fine but there are other factors to consider such as where you are downloading it from (I cannot find it in F-Droid) and security updates (when was it last updated and does it update automatically). In addition, using a vastly different browser can have a negative effect on your privacy because your browser fingerprint will make you stand out, and thus make you easier to identify across multiple sites.

[quote=“PNJ88_Beast, post:8, topic:31192”]
I’ve heard of GNU IceCat but I wasn’t aware they had a mobile version … I cannot find it in F-Droid) and security updates (when was it last updated and does it update automatically). [/quote]
I installed it once from Fdroid. Just discovered it’s no longer on, hope it comes back soon !
It’s still on and i’m trusting them but for updates, i’ll wait a while for it’s coming back on fdroid.

Just now, I only use two of them : IceCatMobile and Torbrowser.

I agree with everything you said/answered for this subject, all the apps i’m using come from Fdroid. I use desktop for my main internet activity and needs (Debian + Firefox + privacy plugins) and my eos fairphone mostly to read news.

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Wow … I didn’t expect such a number of comments when starting that thread: thank you everyone for that, very useful!
I may give Bromite a try then.

Talking about F-droid: is it secure to install this app store on /e/ as both its Rating and Privacy ratings appear as “N/A” on /e/ app store?
I’m currently using Aurora Store to install apps I can not find on native /e/ app store: Aurora Store Privacy rating is 9/10.

Is it better to use F-droid instead?

The apps in Aurora are geared more toward the regular Google Play Store, F-Droid apps are FOSS (Free and Open Source Software). Be sure to checkout FFInstaller.

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For what reasons do i choose Fdroid ?
What is Fdroid ?

  • all apps are FOSS
  • anti-features (ads, Tracking, non-free Addons,Known vulnerability, …) for any present app are listed. Let’s look at the two anti-features for downloadable Fennec Browser: “This app tracks and reports your activity” and “The upstream source code is not entirely Free”
  • permissions for any present app are listed
  • downloadable apk has been re-compiled from sources
  • updates are automatic and easy to install
  • it is possible to add a repository in Fdroid application to manage an app unavailable on Fdroid (i added Langis repository).
    Theses features are not (and cannot be) available in Aurora.
    In my understanding, Aurora (only) allows one to download GooglePlay apks without a google account; am I faulty about this ?
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Even though I use F-Droid myself (rather extensively), I think the user should exercise some level of caution as to what they install on their devices.

No “App Store” is 100% safe. F-Droid not being an exception:

F-Droid is a non-profit volunteer project. Although every effort is made to ensure that everything in the repository is safe to install, you use it AT YOUR OWN RISK. Wherever possible, applications in the repository are built from source, and that source code is checked for potential security or privacy issues. This checking is far from exhaustive and there are no guarantees.

Please see:

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You can have both Aurora and F-Droid installed without issues, and simply install apps from wherever you feel most comfortable with. I personally like F-Droid better but rely on Aurora for other apps I cannot find in there, leaving /e/'s default store as last resource.

I don’t know if you can use your own Google account with it, but I guess the most common use
case is that you don’t have to provide your own.

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Have you heard about Ecosia browser? According to Aurora it has 0 trackers. What is more their search engine seems to be focused on privacy :thinking: