If I understand supl servers correctly; they take wifi networks and cell towers near by, send that data to a server and then that server spits out a location.
Do I even need a supl server? Can’t I just disable it and rely on GPS?
What privacy respecting supl servers are out their?
Is my understanding of supl servers correct?
Is there anything else I am not understanding about a supl server?
There are numerous ways for location determination.
- SUPL is primarily used as an almanac for speeding up the GPS time-to-first-fix, MSB. MSB calculates location locally on device.
- SUPL does have a mode where it can calculate location on your behalf, MSA. MSA does record what it can see and sends it to the SUPL for location calculation.
- Android typically also has a
Network Location Provider, this is usually Google Play Services and works by sending cell tower and Wi-Fi identifiers to Google for rough location calculation.
- You can use UnifiedNlp instead of Google and choose other sources such as an offline database or Mozilla.
- All Qualcomm devices also have IZAT. IZAT is very similar to the Google provider but handled by Qualcomm
- Android SUPL defaults to Google’s in most cases.
- But note that your SIM card itself or APN set likely overrides your SUPL.
- Your carrier can also issue a SUPL emergency override where it can redirect SUPL requests to another server of their choice.
- The SUPL request by default in Android contains your IMSI. This is to allow carriers access control to their SUPL servers.
- There do exist other publicly accessible SUPL servers but I cannot recommend you use them.
DivestOS for example removes IZAT, doesn’t included Google apps, disables SUPL MSA, and furthermore prevents sending your IMSI to your SUPL.
DivestOS also has a feature to show a notification when the SUPL has requested your location.
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