[Privacy] Do you know a way to permanently disable Google Location Accuracy 'precise location' & 'Wi-Fi scanning' while keeping only the GPS radio on?

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Senior Member
May 11, 2021
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
This would be a big leap in privacy if we can pull it off together.

Do you know if there is a way to permanently disable precise location & Wi-Fi scanning switches from turning on?
  • Google Location Accuracy = assisted_gps_enabled
    • How can we turn this (permanently OFF!)
  • Wi-Fi scanning = wifi_scan_always_enabled
    • How can we turn this (permanently OFF!)
  • Bluetooth scanning = ble_scan_always_enabled
    • How can we turn this (permanently OFF!)
Keeping in mind these basic inviolate privacy rules... everything below that question above is merely a detail as to WHY I want to permanently turn these three switches off.
  • Never do I need or want to use anything but the GPS radio for location accuracy.
  • And never do I wish to upload my location to Google.
  • And never do I wish to upload anyone's Wi-Fi AP BSSID to Google
  • And never will I create ANY account on my phone (especially a Google Account!).
The pernicious problem described below did NOT use to be the case.
  • android.permission.ACCESS_BACKGROUND_LOCATION
    • Luckily, this stays off usually, after I turn it off
  • android.permission.ACCESS_COURSE_LOCATION
    • Practically, this is required for GPS, so it must be turned on
  • android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION
    • I NEVER want this on but this keeps turning back on
It seems now, that every "map related" app that links in the GSF spyware, forces upon us wholly unnecessary de facto Google spying by needlessly requiring the app to turn on two pernicious Google spyware settings, even if you constantly turn those to settings off!
  • Google Location Accuracy = off
  • Wi-Fi scanning = off
It used to be that apps which needed your location would politely "ask" but you could turn on the GPS radio manually, and the map-routing apps would all accept that they had sufficient GPS-only information without resorting to uploading your location needlessly to Google servers.

Recently I tested the following parked-car finder apps, all of which perniciously turned on these completely unnecessary Google GSF spyware uploads to the Google servers!
The technical part of this privacy problem is no matter how many times I turn precise location off, either globally or per app, many (if not almost all) location-aware apps (with GSF spyware linked in) turn it back on.
  • I don't ever want any app to ever be able to turn precise location on.
I have zero desire to use Wi-Fi access points and Bluetooth beacons to determine my precise location, particularly since I often spoof GPS. (I'm guessing the bluetooth spyware switch uses beacons, but I don't know that for a fact.)

Unfortunately for me, almost every app which asks for location nowadays (which uses the GSF spyware), automatically turns on both "Use precise location" & "Wi-Fi Scanning" no matter whether you've already turned precise location access off for that specific app a billion times already.

To be clear, this location tracking spyware situation doesn't matter if you don't even have a Google Account on the phone (which I don't have) because that's not the location tracking that I'm talking about here.
  • Android 12 Settings > Privacy > Google location history > empty
  • {I'm not talking about this location tracking as I have no Google Account
It doesn't even matter if you've globally turned the switches off in the Android 12 settings!
  • Android12 Settings > Location > Location Services >
    • Google Location Accuracy = off
    • Wi-Fi scanning = off
    • Bluetooth scanning = off
Even if you have every app that needs GPS set to "Allow only while using the app", many of those apps will ask EVERY TIME for "precise location".
  • Android12 Settings > Apps > Permission manager > Location > {app} >
  • Use precise location = off
The reason is most gps-enabled apps keep turning these precise location switches back on!

Even if you have your Wi-Fi radio & Bluetooth radio turned off, many of those apps still ask EVERY TIME for "precise location" - and worse - the apps won't run until you say yes to the request for location, and then saying yes will automatically turn on precise location every time.

Worse than all that, even if you already turned on the GPS and you already turned off precise location for all your apps and you already set every app to only use the location when the app is running, still most apps will ask for precise location (and then you can manually turn it off yet again).

I turned off all the system apps location permission that I could in
  • Android12 Settings > Location > App permissions >
  • Show system > Allowed all the time >
But some of them are grayed out and therefore can't be turned off.
  • Fused Location = Allow all the time (grayed out)
  • Fused Location = Use precise location (grayed out)
  • Samsung Location SDK = Allow all the time (grayed out)
  • Samsung Location SDK = Use precise location (grayed out)
The fact remains that, since I care about my privacy, I do NOT wish to upload my location to Google servers. Nor do I wish to upload all the BSSIDs around me to Google. And I also don't want any app using them for location. Ever!

I will never want precise location to be turned on, mainly because it gives away my true location (in terms of other people's Wi-Fi access points) and more importantly because I never will need location accuracy better than GPS which is just fine for what I want and for what I need.

In summary...
Do you know if there is a way to permanently disable precise location & Wi-Fi scanning?

NOTE: I'm not rooted (the Galaxy A32-5G SM-A326U apparently can't be rooted) & I therefore don't have Tasker nor, for privacy reasons do I have IFTTT (if this, then that requires a mothership account) but just in case automation forms the basis of a workaround, today I installed both MacroDroid & Automate which are better behaved than IFTTT is on privacy (but I don't yet know if they can do the job of turning off the GSF "assisted_gps_enabled" & inherently malevolent spyware permissions).

Also I have adb working well from Windows over Wi-Fi (for scrcpy/sndcpy & vysor), so maybe I can permanently revoke the permissions using that?

Last edited:


Senior Member
Dec 11, 2022
Freestate of Bavaria, Germany

Using ADB you at any time can grant / revoke permissions

A one-liner that helps granting or revoking vulnerable permissions.

adb shell pm grant <sample.package.id> android.permission.<PERMISSION_NAME>
adb shell pm revoke <sample.package.id> android.permission.<PERMISSION_NAME>


Senior Member
Dec 26, 2017
Did you manage to achieve your goal? Using App Ops is really showing how often google checks your location...

Is the adb idea working?