My /e/ exit interview


I may be wrong but I think that even under shleter, apps with tracker still tracks you in your work profile.
Shelter is usefull against apps like whatsapp which collect contacts info but not against trackers.
You’d better use Advanced Privacy/Tracker Control/DDG app tracking protection and so on.

Hi @hkmike do you log in to a Google A/C at first start wizard?

@Nicolas_Sas The idea is to hopefully limit all tracking to only the work profile in Shelter. There are some apps that are specifically granted permission by default to access personal data from the work file and vice versa! I denied them that permission. I doubt that it works completely, but turning off most of the water faucets should cause the house to flood much more slowly, as it were.

I had to choose between Tracker Control and a VPN that blocks trackers. I chose the latter.

@aibd No. And it seems to have worked. Shelter apps know about the google Play store, but apps in the main profile do not, and the main profile claims that there is no account associated with the device.

I am hoping that each device is functionally two completely separate devices. At least access is limited as much as possible.


I installed Hong Kong’s Stay Home Safe app, and verified that it could at least open (before deleting it again). Since not being able to do that was what sparked my exodus from /e/ in the first place. So, best case, my settings are providing the level of convenience required to live and function in Hong Kong. Worst case, I could factory reset a phone and put whatever apps they wanted me to on it.

This seems to be working.

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My son’s phone is the most unsecure of the three, mostly because of lots of games. He’s good with just about anything fun, with a couple exceptions that he had to have. Since the phone will last three more years of security updates, I wanted him to understand the reasons behind the app choices I made, so he can make informed choices when he’s the one making the decisions on what apps to use. Here’s the documentation of the rules (and exceptions) I held myself to to keep tracking to a minimum, enjoy:

Apps with many trackers, or that have the “run at startup” or “modify or delete the contents of your shared storage” permission, must not be installed at all.
Exception #1 Whatsapp (under Shelter)

Apps with any “ad” trackers, such as Google AdMob, Unity3D Ads, or Facebook Ads, must not be installed at all.
Exception #1 Google Play Store (not signed in under main account. Only signed in under Shelter)

Apps with any trackers must be installed under Shelter, and frozen when not in use.
Exception #1 μ?acra is a “good” tracker used by Newpipe.
Exception #2 Proton VPN (and Among Us) seem to use 2?Sentry.
Exception #3 Android apps Calculator, Messages, Phone, and Photos all use Google Firebase Analytics.

Apps that try to connect to Google Play must be installed under Shelter and frozen when not in use, including apps that require Billing service permission.

List of trackers used by apps under Shelter on Nokia XR20-DS:
Google Analytics (used by Whatsapp, Roblox)
Google Crashlytics (eClass)
Google Firebase Analytics (Google Play Store, eClass, Minecraft, Roblox)
Google Play Install Referrer (Minecraft, Roblox)
AppsFlyer (Minecraft, Roblox)
Braze - formerly called Appboy (Minecraft)
Microsoft Visual Studio (Pathos) note: blocked from within app.

Apps under Shelter by number of trackers:
Minecraft (4)
Roblox (4)
eClass Student (2)
Google Play Store (2)
WhatsApp (1)
Pathos (1 - blocked)

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This sounds quite reasonable :smile:
Does it mean that on main phone part is working F-droid on stock rom and only Shelter has Google store?

Almost right. Main phone part is working on Aurora Store on stock rom (mostly. There’s a smattering of F-droid, one apkpure, and a couple direct downloaded from the official website for the app) and only Shelter has Google store

Interesting solution for dividing the phone. I’ve never wanted to share it like that :thinking: I think that I was scared to use Google in Shelter when at the same time I had F-droid on the same phone :angel:

How do you freeze those apps? I’ve searched in system, but not found.

Not frozen in system, frozen through the Shelter app.

I will search it in Shelter than, thanks :smile:

This all took a very, very, very long time, but my compromise divided system setup is close to be finished to my satisfaction. There’s some pretty big trade-offs, and google is even more invasive then it was when I first started using /e/. Google Assistant alone is terrifyingly creepy.

One more thing I ended up doing (after hours of research): I’m using a dedicated browser for my (proton) e-mail account. I may even leave it signed in half the time, since it always takes minutes to sign in over VPNs. I seem to have collected a lot of browsers: Stoutner Privacy Browser for quick searches and such, Brave as the main browser, Bromide as a dedicated email browser, frozen Shelter Brave for my old gmail (still good for multiple big attachments, and a relational threat profile violator), and Stoutner Privacy Browser for links from old frozen fb (on Face Slim - no point of giving up fb completely if my wife is still on it)

Well, only a day left on this thread.

Thank you to @gael , @Manoj , the rest of the team, the build maintainers, and the “amateurs” that I’ve learned so much from. This is a wonderful, helpful community. Best wishes to you all!

Down with Google!

My data is my data


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