Can you make "Fennec F-Droid" more privacy-friendly by removing some permissions?

Can you make “Fennec F-Droid” more privacy-friendly by removing location permissions and some other?

The only thing location permission can be needed for is showing local content for the country I’m located in but that becomes a trouble if I travel and don’t want content of the country i visit. So its better that I set what countrys content I want to see in settings instead. A person might want to see local content of england while he/she is in Korea for example.

The permissions I wish deleted is following:

  • access precise location (GPS and network-based)

  • access approximate location (network-based)

  • modify system settings (I don’t get why the app needs this)

  • toggle sync on and off (I can do that myself the app doesn’t need to be able to do that)

I also wonder if following permission is really needed:

  • download files without notification

If not I would like you to delete it to, because it makes our Androids very vulnerable if a app can “download files without notification”. I think a hacker or Virus could take advantage of it for example.

I have mailed Mozilla to ask if they can delete the permissions, but got the answer that “Fennec” is made by the F-Droid crew and that only they are responsible for it’s permissions.
That’s why I write here now.

Please consider these changes and answer if you do some or all of them.

What if I want to see my location on Openstreetmap?

And no

needed for is showing local content for the country I’m located in

they usually get that from “app language” instead, unless you put that on English so the app is no longer translated. (but you can edit this in about:config search for “search” or “locale” or “lang”)

okay, but think it’s good if you can at least turn location totally off in app-settings, if you don’t want it.
But what about the other permissions I mentioned?
Are they needed for something?

Why not deny&cancel the permission when asked?

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On recent Android versions, you can normally allow /deny permissions.

According to this diagram “Privacy Browser” might be something for you:

On the other hand the private browsing feature of Fennec might do as well.

I only want “Fennec” because of their WebView alternative Gecko. I guess “Gecko” has the same permissions. That’s why I like some of them deleted. Otherwise I use “Tor Browser” that is much securer then “Privacy Browser” and all sorts of Firefox.

I have read about “Privacy Browser” and they say that in the next version (4) of it they will inlude a forked alternative to Android Webview called “Privacy Webview”. This will be a much better alternative to Gecko & Fennec, because “Privacy Browser” even works with Orbot.
The only sad thing is that we don’t know how long we have to wait before Privacy Browser version 4 is released.

How to know if it’s safe? Is it safe to use?

What’s your “threat model” ?

I am the developer of Privacy Browser. I can’t address the main question of the thread regarding removing permissions from Fennec F-Droid, except to state the obvious that F-Droid does not control the permissions of the apps distributed through the platform. This would require modifying the source code of the program. So, you would either need to contact the Fennec F-Droid upstream and request that they make changes to their permissions or fork the code and make the changes yourself.

However, if you have any questions about Privacy Browser I am happy to answer them, either here or in a separate thread.

The only question I have about Privacy Browser right now is: Will Privacy Browser version 4 be released soon and about when?? It dosen’t have to be an exact answer. Just want to know if it’s close to the release.

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No, it will be a while. First, all the features and bugs relating to the 3.x series must be closed.

https://redmine.stoutner.com/projects/privacy-browser/issues?utf8=✓&set_filter=1&sort=id%3Adesc&f[]=status_id&op[status_id]=o&f[]=priority_id&op[priority_id]=%3D&v[priority_id][]=1&f[]=&c[]=tracker&c[]=status&c[]=priority&c[]=subject&c[]=assigned_to&c[]=updated_on&group_by=&t[]=

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