What apps or services can "auto-enable" geolocalisation?

Hi community :slight_smile: ,

Sometimes i forget to disable GPS after using it inside an app (for example transport app) but sometimes too i found GPS enabled while i am sure that i never enabled it.

I would like to find a log or something that might help me to know what apps or services used or enabled recently GPS and i wondered if even on /e/ os maybe some apps might enable geolocalisation.

Any idea ?

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

Perhaps in
/settings /security /trust /privacy guard /advanced

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I know that if you have network location services, at least on stock Android they are doing “location everything” from time to time even if the location is off completely, don’t know what’s in microG with UnifiedNlp BUT this wouldn’t be the case here. Apart from other confusing things (like Bluetooth low power being the same permission with GPS/Location) if the location doesn’t stay off when you set it off then it’s pointless to micromanage it manually. I mean one would want to disable location to save battery or for privacy reasons, if apps can turn it on anyway what’s the point?

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Try to check on location settings if you have the scanning options enabled:

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System > Security & location > Trust > Privacy Guard > 3dots > Advanced > Location tab.

You could set the location permission of some apps to “Always ask” to see which app is activating/asking for the location in background.

But when location is disabled, no location is possible. I’m not sure if an app can turn location on (according to your experience, yes).

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Hi everyone, and thank you for your answers :slight_smile:

@666 i completely agree. On F-Droid i found an app that auto switch-off bluetooth when not used, i was thinking about that kind of solution to prevent the fact that i might forget but if apps are switching on GPS automatically that’s useless :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

@piero and @Anonyme thanks ! i never came to this setting so far, trust module is very interesting !

I only found that last apps that took access to location were Bliss Launcher, Mozilla UnifiedNlp, MicroG and Magic Earth. I disabled location for every apps to see if i get a request message (thanks @Anonyme for this advice :wink: )

@anon38440295 indeed i found that wi-fi scan was enabled ! i understand that this kind of option might interest some people but i hate this when it’s enabled by default :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Yes, the privacy guard feature is a bit hiden in a sub-sub-menu…
I don’t know if it is AndroidOSP feature or LineageOS feature.
But yes, very interesting feature !
It could be in the main settings menu, or just under /security or /privacy

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It’s a LineageOS feature, since at least Nougat while Google was only offering basic permissions control.


I am have experienced similar issues: No SIM card in the phone, literally ALL settings discussed here (e.g. Bluetooth, GPS, Wifi Scanning, …) off, on a VPN, and having the Aurora store installed which additionally spoofs my location to again another country, and still, two apps are somehow able to detect my real location (which is neither the VPN nor the spoofed one). These apps are Briar and Linphone. Maybe one of the developers could look into this…

@redshift Woaw that’s very odd :confused:

My question might sound stupid but did you tried these apps from another real location ?
Maybe it’s just an illusion and theses apps display just the last location found and maybe if you check it from the same place everytime it gives the impression to be able to localalize i don’t know ^^

No, it cannot be the last location because the real location should have never ever been in the phone at any stage. Also, it does that at different locations, this means the phone does detect location, how I don’t yet know. However, only certain apps retrieve the location, e.g. Telegram does not seem to, it suggested the VPN’s location as the location. I would really like to know from the programmer how that can be.

Some time ago I did some tests too, and even with the VPN active, it still detected my real position, and without even being outdoors, so from the active connection, both WiFi and LTE.
I think Microg is doing it, but I don’t know how!

Maybe the location is taken from a lower layer of Android (bypassing user settings)

XPrivacyLua provides some protection from location tracking. In addition, the Android itself has the build-in faking location function which is accessible in the developer’s settings and can be utilized with help of Private Location app.

And don’t rely on Privacy Guard: this feature is already removed from LineageOS 17, and so it’s unlikely to appear again in eOS Q.

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