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Phone location services

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Anybody here know of a way to disable any and all location service on my phone so no app or my carrier is able to pinpoint where and which country I'm in.

Galaxy S5 with root.

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For your career it's not possible. When you make a call, your phone is connected to an antenna and your career know witch one and how good is your connection to this antenna so he can easily know your position.

In Top of that, they are able (but it's not legal in most country) to know every person in a place. This is what the Ukrainian gov did during the revolution. They used all antennas to recolt the number of the those who were at the Maïdan place.

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I can think of 3 options:
1. (on stock Android)
Disabling "Location" in Android's settings will keep any app from accessing your GPS and WiFi location. That sucks, of course, if you depend on specific apps, maybe car navigation that may need legitimate location access. At least disable "Google location reporting" and "location history".   
Details:
http://www.howtogeek.com/195647/googles-location-history-is-still-recording-your-every-move/

2. (on custom ROMs)
Use a custom ROM that offers "AppOps" (native Android functionality for app permission management which Google chose to remove) or "Privacy Guard" (CyanogenMod's version of AppOps)
 

Info on CM10/11's Privacy Guard:

http://www.androidcentral.com/cyanogenmod-updating-privacy-guard-20-new-features-coming-cm102

Info on CM12's Privacy Guard:
www.androidexplained.com/cm12-enable-privacy-guard/

3. (on stock Android)

Apparently, there are several apps that allow you to enable AppOps on stock Android. I haven't tried them, but they're worth a look if you don't want to use custom ROMs:

http://www.pocketables.com/2014/12/droidmate-brings-app-ops-back-lollipop.html


As victorab correctly explained, keep in mind that you cannot stop your carrier from pinpointing your location at any point of time. Your phone and the network's cell towers constantly communicate, negotiating which tower to use based on how strong the signal is (== how close you are to them). It's nowhere near as precise as GPS but I've read anywhere from 50m, 400m, or several km (depending on cell tower density, higher in cities, lower in rural areas).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_tracking

 

To add to another good point by victorab: Many governments use IMSI catchers at political events or demonstrations. IMSI catchers are basically fake cell towers that your device will connect to, not only allowing them to locate you but also intercept your calls and data. It's probably smart not to bring your device to any political events to avoid both tracking and confiscation. Sure, unlawful in most countries, but no government particularly cares about legality.

 

Or, try and detect IMSI catchers using an app like this one:

Android IMSI-Catcher Detector


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I tried to install cyanogenmod, or well successfully did, but it was android version 5.1.1 and I wanted 5.0 cuz I hate 5.1.1

 

Also I'm always connected to an airvpn server

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If 5.1 is a show-stopper and you don't care about future updates, keep using cm-12-20150428-NIGHTLY. cm-12* is based on 5.0 whereas cm-12.1* is based on 5.1.

Or try stock Android + DroidMate's AppOps.

 

Use AFWall+ in combination with AirVPN to avoid disconnection leaks. Also, Android is known to leak data during boot (way before you enable your VPN). AFWall provides an experimental fix ("Fix Startup Data Leak").


all of my content is released under CC-BY-SA 2.0

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I'm not sure I understand your question. Do you mean: make apps believe you're in the US? No, that's not impossible at all, if you disable location access as we discussed and use US AirVPN servers. However, you might run into some content providers (especially video streaming services) that try and actively block known VPN IPs. Not much you can do in that case apart from trying each and every VPN server.

 

On a tangentially related note, I think the XPrivacy framework offers the ability to provide apps with fake location data (or any other data it requests). That's another fun idea to play around with, perhaps.


all of my content is released under CC-BY-SA 2.0

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Option 4: Replace your network location provider. & Disable location services in the relevant Google Apps. Just to be sure.

 

Using UnifiedNlp along with the XPosed Framework and a module accordingly called XPosedUnifiedNlp you can completely replace Google with an open source network location provider. Additonally, I disabled all location services of Play Store, Google Services Framework and of course Google Play Services.

 

If you're interested in a how-to I can provide one, though it's not that hard if you follow the update history of F-Droid. There are packages for gapps devices as well as for devices without them. The latter works even without root.


» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not official. Refer to Staff postings for the official word.

» These are the community forums, not the support portal. You're writing with other users here.

» New here? LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. Use the search function, Luke!

» Tor exits behind a VPN connection are discouraged. Using Tor on the other hand is not.

 

» Privacy is like alcohol: Drink a little and it can help you stay unnoticed. Drink a lot and everyone will notice you.

» I cannot give you the solution to all your issues. But I can guide you to it. The rest is up to you.

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