Which OS and apps to avoid digital surveillance? Recommendations? (new FP3)

I am planning to buy a new FP3. I would like to avoid digital surveillance (as in ‘Privacy is Power’ and ‘The Social Dilemma’).
As I am starting with a blank slate, can anyone recommend which OS and apps I should use, please? and where I can get them from? (eg not Google store)
I am UK based, with the Phone Co-op, not very tech savvy but willing to learn, more familiar with pc/android than iStuff


If you are interested in alternative OS, consider:


I would primarily recommend to reduce notifications to a minimum – or switch them off altogether. Also, you could set up a google account with minimum or misleading information about yourself.

I personally have no problem with Google collecting some data about me. In general, the large platforms are not interested in you as an individual IMHO. They aggregate data to find patterns and trends in them. What they’re interested in, though, is targeting ads at you. Which you can switch off in your Google account. I personally also do not accumulate histories (search, web, location, …).

I like many Google services, for example Play Protect security scans of your installed apps, Google Maps, and Photos. But I deliberately use some non-Google apps for central functions, e. g. Brave, FairEmail and aCalendar+ instead of Chrome, Gmail and Google Calendar.

Best wishes,


I’d suggest you to install LineageOS. I favour it over /e/ since it is more like stock Android and less iPhone-y.
For apps I use the F-Droid Store (f-droid.org), which only features FOSS apps. I also use Aurora Store, which you can download from F-Droid. It lets you connect and Download apps from the Play Store with an anonymous G00gle account, so you don’t have to set one up.

If you have problems using some proprietary apps “This app won’t work until you update G00gle Play Services” you can download microG, which brings back most of the functionality the Play Services provide while limiting the amout of data sent to G00gle to a minimum. I personally use it, but I’ve disabled every setting inside the microG settings (such as device registration or safety net).
You can also install XPosed and use the module XPrivacy Lua to have greater control over app permissions. When you use XPosed, I can also recommend you AdAway (an F-Droid app) which blocks ads in almost every installed app, and AFWall+ which lets you block internet access for certain apps.

I personally like my setup because it limits the data sent to G00gle and other companies to a minimum while also enabling me to use my phone “normally” without having to give up many features (actually, none at all for me).


To reach the goal

I believe /e/ is best choice (according to their standpoint on their website) regarding privacy from default install and settings, since LineageOS still sends data to Google as long as it’s not adjusted beyond their default settings.


Thanks for your help. How do you say (pronounce): /e/


Thank you, Thomas. I really appreciate your helpful response. I too am not so concerned about personal data collection, but it’s become a matter of principle. Since reading Shoshana Zuboff’s book and more recently seeing The Social Dilemma on Netflix and now Carissa Veliz’ book, I’m just determined to break the cycle, in a small way, being a natural contrarian. They (Mark Zuckerberg et al) probably know all about me already if they chose to, this is truly ‘shutting the door after the horse has bolted’ … but you have time for this sort of thing when you’re retired.
Once again, thanks for replying

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Thank you Amber for your helpful input

Thank you. I really appreciate your detailed reply. Most informative and helpful

well, officially you should probably say “slash e slash”… :wink: But as it’s a tongue twister I prefer to call it eOS and btw. another name is planned for the future anyway (well, for quite long time already)… :slight_smile:


I’m probably outing myself as a Millenial/Zoomer here, but I’m just saying “E” like in the E meme


I recommend Lineage OS without Googme services (which I use on my FP2) or /e/. F-droid app store works well for me.

Also, if you’re serious about protecting your privacy, check out the self-hosted app services https://start9labs.com/ offers via their pre-configured home server. It pairs with privacy-respecting Android apps you could run under either of the above OSes.

As a mail client, i’d recommend FairEmail, privacy and user oriented.

Thanks, Chantoine, all information gratefully received.

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