This will sound really paranoid, but it’s an idea I haven’t heard around reducing location tracking accuracy.
The Librem 5 can turn off wifi, GPS, and the cellular antenna/modem, but anytime you actually make a call or are in a location and want to be able to receive a call, you have to have the modem turned on. Thus, your location is fairly known to the carriers. As I understand it, their ability to identify your location depends on how many cellular towers are within range. Generally If the phone only communicates with a single tower or is only within range of a single tower, all they know is that you are within the radius of the tower. They don’t have or have limited directional identification per tower.
So the idea… Is there any database/map of all cell towers? Is there any information on their elevation and strength like there is for radio/TV antennas? Couldn’t that cell tower data be put into an app and used so the user could identify where they are on a map and reduce the broadcast strength so the phone would only be within range of a single tower? I doubt this would be possible with an Android or iOS phone because the control over the components like the modem are not available to app developers. That’s not as true with the Librem5.
Even better would be if there is information on the frequencies of the various cell towers that would allow a user to define the tower they want to connect to at the exclusion of all others. Even if the information on the towers is not shared by the cell companies and/or government, isn’t that information something that could be crowdsourced? Wouldn’t it be ironic if someone wrote an application for Android/iOS that allowed millions of privacy-unaware folks to gather information for the more savvy, Librem5 users to improve their own privacy by reducing cellular-carrier location tracking?
By forcing the phone to only communicate with a single tower before turning on the modem, users could greatly reduce accuracy of any entity looking to track them.
Is this a feasible idea? Has it already been discussed/dismissed?