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While Android is in theory open source, with anyone able to compile a working version of the operating system, in the West you do not really have an alternative to using Google’s version of the operating system, with the apps and services tied to Google’s Play Services and store.
Now a new startup which paints itself as a champion for data privacy is starting a project to create a Google-free Android distribution which places privacy at its forefront.
Led by Gaël Duval, who created Mandrake Linux, eelo is aiming to provide an alternative mobile operating system and associated web-services, including email, cloud storage, online office tools with a better respect of your personal data privacy. eelo will be an open source, non-profit project in the public interest.
He complains that Google has become too big and was tracking users constantly, making them merely a product for Google and turning users into voluntary slaves.
He aims to create an alternative to stock Android that was easy to use and consistent and offer online tools such as office, email services etc., and based on a form of LineageOS.
The project will be released as “privacy-enabled” smartphone ROMs and smartphones for the average user, with associated web-services.
The team are raising money on Kickstarter to create the OS, and if they reach their stretch goal of around 2 million euro they plan to release a phone by partnering with a hardware OEM.
From the comments in many of our articles, many of our readers are nervous about trusting Google with their data. Given the demise of Microsoft in mobile, would our readers support such a project? Let us know below.
See the Kickstarter here.