Statement: UnifiedNLP is critical infrastructure

As often as I can I upload data to and Mozilla location services, using “Tower Collector” from F-Droid.

Ane thinking about this: Network Location detection is critical infrastructure!

Thats why GrapheneOS not allowing microG is such a problem.

I listen to a Discussion about SpaceX, Amazon, Alphabet, China, India, Europe etc. all competing about sattelites.

The likeliness of crashing sattelites will go up drastically, as well as the danger of getting dependend on those.

Location positioning is possible without GPS! But commonly its only done by Google and Apple.

It is very important for all privacy platforms to support UnifiedNLP with an independend Network location provider.

What do you think about this?

I agree that UnifiedNLP is an important puzzle piece. Hopefully GrapheneOS will support it or something similar soon. To quote Daniel Micay (highlighting from me):

By default, GrapheneOS uses GNSS as a network location provider whether or not sandboxed Google Play is installed. […] More options [will] become available, which is planned, but that’s the status quo already. Our emulation approach is the most private approach and should not be considered worse than sending the user’s location to a service by default whenever they enable location, which is what happens on some of those other operating systems by default.

Network-based geocoding and network location via services are a massive privacy issue. The operating systems using network location by default are significantly less private because they send the user’s location in real time to a service (network location) and send queries for locations like street addresses to a service (geocoding).

GrapheneOS hasn’t yet included an OS geocoding service because it’s less private than either not having one or using a local database. We plan to offer a local database download via our app repository and the option to use remote services but not by default. Not including network-based geocoding is as much of a feature as including it, with different tradeoffs. Most map apps have their own geocoding support and some may support doing it locally but most don’t.

We emulate network location to improve privacy over using a real network location service without breaking app compatibility with apps assuming there is one. GrapheneOS approach is far more private than sending the user’s location to a provider like Mozilla by default whenever the user enables location. From a privacy perspective, this is a bad feature and not one that should be enabled by default with a remote service as other operating systems are doing. From a privacy perspective, not doing that is a feature, and if it’s offered as a feature it should have a warning. SUPL as actually used in practice is a lot more private than this.