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Nokia Privacy Suite

In light of all the tracking, data mining and privacy violations we're subjected to nowadays (not the least from Google and Facebook), I'm asking HMD to invest time in developing a Nokia Privacy Suite for their users.

I'm currently on the fence about simply getting an iPhone, since Apple seem to be alone in fighting for user privacy. Samsung recently took notice of users migrating over to Apple as a result of the privacy and user protection they offer. Samsung has therefore developed their own privacy protections via Disconnect/KNOX. This privacy suite, albeit a good start, seem to be mostly just a tracker blocker though.

If HMD took the lead to supply users with a privacy-focused approach to Android, it'd certainly attract the attention from both businesses, the press and privacy-conscious users alike.

I know HMD has had as a goal to provide "stock Android". But one of the big attractions of former Nokia devices was the incredible software Nokia developed in conjunction with their hardware to fill in the gaps where the OS was lacking. I'm asking you to rethink the whole "stock" approach and provide users with software where the OS is grossly insufficient, such as in privacy.

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I definitely like the idea of them beefing up security and helping users avoid being tracked and having their data mined by companies, but I feel like this could be achievable without needing to sacrifice stock Android, and the benefits that come with it. They just need to take a smart approach to it.

2 people like this

Certainly, I'm not suggesting they heavily skin their version of Android. I'm just, as you stated, wishing they'd beef up privacy and security quite a bit. HMD are making their money from hardware and a good reputation, so they'd be one of the few reliable sources for tracking blockers and other privacy-related measures for consumers. It's also one of the few things people are unlikely to be upset about having pre-installed on their devices.

I agree. Im the kinda guy who's highly concerned about security, and whilst I don't typically appreciate pre-installed apps unless their absolutely necessary and have said so elsewhere, I wouldn't mind in the if said apps were concerning user privacy and assisting them in protecting it.

I hope Nokia/HMD take a look at this and consider it. I think it'd definitely earn them some points in the Smartphone race. Especially with privacy revelations left and right exposing just how vulnerable we are, and just how much data is being hoovered up by big corporations, shady 3rd parties, and government agencies with questionable authority and justification in doing so.

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 II really like this idea. Especially since Google is getting data greedy.

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Community Hero

I agree I'd like to see this for Android, it's one of my main concerns about using it as a mobile OS. With Android I generally try to use Firefox for everything instead of apps for this very reason - I trust Mozilla, I do not trust Google.

HMD/Nokia seem to have a special relationship with Google so I think it's unlikely that HMD/Nokia will develop software that will undermine their partner's business.

What specific functions do you think are needed?

@madbilly: You have already mentioned elsewhere that HMD/Nokia and Google have a special relationship. I hope that this relationship is not as "special" as it was between Nokia and Microsoft.

As for the security features:

  • I would like to have the choice of opening a Google account or not to use a Nokia device with Android.
  • I would like to have a choice of mail account, cloud storage, photo app and maps during setup.
  • I would like to know which Google services I can safely delete or at least deactivate (What seems to be of no use since Google collects position data even when GPS is switched off)

I think HMD/Nokia will find it difficult to differentiate itself from other Android-based device manufacturers  without features and services that create additional value for users (even if they differ from Google).

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Community Hero

Regarding the "special relationship", I wrote this because it's what I have read elsewhere, I don't have any privileged information on this matter. I agree that the Nokia-MS thing turned into a mess that we all want to avoid. Personally I don't think that Google are interested in Nokia for the same reasons that MS were - Google don't need Nokia, but it helps them to be associated with huge brand like Nokia which is actually a relatively small company (comparing HMD with Samsung, for example). MS did need Nokia and they still messed up, taking old Nokia down with them :(

I agree with your requests, I too would like to use Android without Google :) There is a good article here: and many others are available.

I agree that improving customer choice on Android would give Nokia an edge over many other OEMs. However, I think that Google forbids the brand "Android" to be used if the Google ecosystem isn't embedded - I'm not certain about this, so I'm happy to be corrected.

In summary, choice would be great, there are many many many capable services that can replace Google ones, but customers need to be able to choose this. The present arrangement is very similar to Windows, IE and Media Player back in the early 2000s, and that didn't turn out well for MS. I hope Google learns a lesson and remembers not to be greedy (evil).

I'm hoping for tracker blockers, adblockers, the option to remove, disable or tweak pre-installed Google system components, the ability to split up the information of what system components are using power and data (Google are hiding this in modern devices under one big "Android OS" section), stronger on-device encryptions with two-factor authentications, the ability to give apps one-time permissions for the actions they request permissions to, etc. There's so much work that can be done.

The core of it is mostly just stopping your data from being sent over to various ad servers though.

I also heard of the "close partnership" between HMD and Google when HMD was first founded, but it turned out to be a misquotation. There's no such thing, as the updated article on Android Authority clarifies:

"Update: Reuters has since removed the “close partnership” comment from its article (which you can still read via The Way Back Machine), either indicating that HMD or Google requested its removal or that Reuters misunderstood the comments made by Arto Nummela on HMD’s collaboration with Google and clarified the text of the article."

But as you say, I think Google has some rules about having to bundle a whole heap of their other software to get Google Play certified. On the other hand, it's exactly that behaviour that landed Microsoft in a massive antitrust suit in EU, so I'm hoping Google will be taken down a few notches by the EU for the same reason. That'd allow HMD to more freely let users choose between open-source or privacy-focused alternatives, and remove Google or Facebook services they don't want when first setting up their device.

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Community Hero

That's all the same sort of additional configuration I'd like too, you explained it well.

And thanks for the clarification about the relationship between HMD and Google.

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