/e/ Bluetooth : Only switch on Bluetooth if necessary

No Bluetooth device can be contacted when it is turned off. Therefore, I only switch on Bluetooth when I consciously want to make a connection. Above all, I deactivate where there are many people around.

I also switch off Bluetooth tracking, as smartphones can also determine my own location via Bluetooth.

The device searches for Bluetooth connections in the vicinity, for example from beacons. Beacons are small Bluetooth transmitters that are installed, for example, in the window of a store and can send advertising messages to potential customers. The mobile phone then sends the unique ID of the respective Bluetooth transmitter to G°°gle.

This does not stop even after I have deactivated the Bluetooth function. In order for Bluetooth to be completely paused, you have to set it separately elsewhere.

Step by step: Switch off Bluetooth

Fig. 1: Open the quick settings by sliding down from the top of the screen.

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Fig. 2: Disable Bluetooth. Tap the Bluetooth icon. It will change to a crossed-out symbol.
Tap again to reactivate the function and the symbol is no longer crossed out.

Fig. 3: Alternatively, you can also access the Bluetooth menu via Device Settings and deactivate Bluetooth there via Settings. Tap on the symbol for the settings.
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Fig. 4: Opening the Bluetooth menu. Tap Connected Devices (Bluetooth, NFC)

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Fig. 5: Deactivate Bluetooth. On this screen you can see the status of your own device. You can now deactivate Bluetooth by tapping on the blue dot in the Bluetooth line.

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Fig. 6: Bluetooth is switched off. If Bluetooth is deactivated, the dot is located on the left side of the sliding field and is grey, the display changes to Off. Tap the dot again to reactivate Bluetooth.


Switching off tracking via Bluetooth

Smartphones can also determine their location via Bluetooth. To do this, the device searches for available Bluetooth connections in the vicinity, for example from beacons.

Beacons are small Bluetooth transmitters that can be installed in the window of a shop, for example. The mobile phone then sends the unique ID of the respective Bluetooth transmitter to a Google database. The database contains the locations of many Bluetooth transmitters. If the location of the detected Bluetooth network is known, G°°gle sends the location data to the requesting mobile phone.

ATTENTION: This location determination via Bluetooth does not stop when the Bluetooth function is deactivated. The device continues to search for Bluetooth connections and sends the result to G°°gle.

Fig. 7, 8: If you want to leave Bluetooth completely idle, you must select it separately elsewhere. Navigate to Settings … Location. In the location menu, tap Scanning.

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Fig 9: Turning off the Bluetooth scan. On this screen, tap the blue dot in the Bluetooth Search line.

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Fig. 10: If Bluetooth scanning is deactivated, the dot on the left of the sliding field is grey and the display changes to Off. Tapping the dot again will reactivate Bluetooth scanning.


There is another way to prevent Bluetooth location: you deactivate the location history, so that the Bluetooth data may still be collected but the device no longer sends it to G°°gle.

The last figures show microG’s UnifiedNlp settings and how to disable them:
location backends | address lookup backends

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When a Bluetooth device is turned off, no one can contact or secretly connect to it.
Stay at home, stay healhty.

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