What privacy features does FairPhone offer that other Android devices don't?

I am new to FairPhone, thinking about buying.

I search for privacy and FairPhone and found only “Privacy Impact feature”. What privacy features do you offer that for example Samsung doesn’t offer?

Have a look here. Search for “Privacy Impact”


They offer a rom that does not contain the google services. That’s a big one. But it depends how you define privacy and safety. Sometimes it not the same. You need to have a goal. Sometimes this goal will make your phone less useful.

You want privacy? Don’t use a phone.
You want some privacy? Use a phone without Google.
You want a bit more privacy? Root your phone. Add more software. This can also make the phone less secure …
You want a safe phone? Use a phone that comes with the latest software updates every month. Don’t root it, don’t install extra software.


Which is the Fairphone 2. Or a Nexus.


Or Apple :zipper_mouth: But hey, were are talking more about privacy here, so. The FP2 without Google still looks good privacy-wise. Just omit the whole Qualcomm part. :slight_smile:

If you want to go deeper, Qualcomm brings their only little tracking package to enhance GPS (I forget the name), some other stuff that is in the bin blobs and their infamous baseband. But this is pretty normal for common SoCs phones these days. The FP2 is just mainstream in regards to the SoC using another brand will not fix this.


Qualcomm IZAT. I’m quoting @larma here:

And again, vendor blobs, drivers and applications are increasing their influence. For example the Fairphone 2 ships a proprietary Qualcomm app that send gps location, nearby cell-towers, wi-fi-networks and bluetooth-devices together with some identifier to Qualcomm servers. According to the license agreement they “are also not allowed to remove portions of the Software”, basically meaning that you’re forced to be tracked. (Source)

This kind of vendor abuse justifies the whole Replicant project and also LinuxLibre or Debian’s Linux.


I did not knew it was that bad. Thanks. I thought one can switch it off somewhere in the XML file. This info should be kept somewhere for reference. Especially if a open discussion about “what SoC to choose for a possible FP3” should ever come up. I doubt that, but …

Well, there are config files for the SoC’s features, indeed. But being closed source means they can follow your limits… or not. You can’t be sure. This is usually called a lock-in.

I have to bring back that Replicant community advised againts Qualcomm, for privacy and freedom reasons, in a topic about what SoC to choose for FP2 somewhere in the forum.

EDIT: Also note this is not a specific problem of Fairphone, so it may be out-of-this-topic (“What privacy features does FairPhone offer that other Android devices don’t?”)

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I tried to mention it above. I think the biggest benefit is the code (if published) and the non-Google rom.

The rest is pretty standard and the “Privacy Impact feature” is not blowing my mind.

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Yes, noting that I wanted to support you, and for further visibility I’m highlighting your comment above:

is a iPhone better for my privacy than a FairPhone with Google Play services?

The question should rather be: do you trust Apple or google more?
I don’t trust neither. For me the advantage of Android is, you’re not locked in, but you can easily use service from third parties, use your own services (e.g. self hosted sync services,etc), and you can more easily block services you don’t like. Actually,you don’t even need to use most Google services and still have a working phone. With apple you usually don’t have much choice or options.

But in terms of privacy I wouldn’t see one better or worse. It’s more like, would you prefer to crash with a Mercedes or a BMW?


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