We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with /e/ Foundation for an open-source operating system that prioritizes user privacy.

/e/ Foundation is an international non-profit project with the mission to make user privacy accessible to all. When we asked the Fairphone community to choose an alternative operating system for the Fairphone 3, /e/OS was the clear favorite.

 /e/ Foundation’s founder Gaël Duval.

This is clearly a great match: “Since the inception of /e/ Foundation and /e/OS, we realized that many of our users were not only concerned about their data privacy and limiting unnecessary data streams, they also wanted hardware that would last longer and be repairable,” says Gaël Duval, /e/ Foundation’s founder.

Unlike many other operating systems, /e/OS doesn’t scan, access or track user data multiple times per day. All your favorite Android apps can still be used, with /e/OS notifying you of built-in trackers hidden within each app, so they know in advance of any potential threat to their data.

The importance of data security

Why did our community choose an OS that focuses on privacy? Chances are you’ve grown increasingly aware of data security over the past few years; this isn’t just about protecting your email password or credit card number anymore. We’ve seen first hand, in real-time, the cost of intensive data extraction on our society. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to new concerns over coronavirus contact-tracing apps, these abstract data-mining forces are changing how we shop, eat, socialize, think, vote, live.

We sat down with Gaël and marketing & operations manager Alexis Noetinger to discuss the importance of data security for individual users, as well as society as a whole. For the full-length conversation, head on over to Soundcloud, Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

There are huge forces at play here, but we hope to influence them by increasing awareness and availability of open-source software like /e/OS. Until operating systems like this become the norm, it is up to each one of us to be vigilant about our own data. With enough concerned individuals joining the fight against data extraction, we can help to make data security a priority in our wider society.

And that’s not all…

/e/OS isn’t just stepping up Fairphone’s privacy game. “In the past, open-source software has helped us increase the longevity of our phones, enabling us to provide software upgrades for many years,” says our CEO, Eva Gouwens. Free from the constraints of centralized Android updates, open-source software allowed us to successfully upgrade the 3-year-old Fairphone 2 to Android 7 using open source and the existing hardware.

 Fairphone 3 with /e/OS: The first privacy-conscious and sustainable smartphone on the market.

We often say that software is the unsung hero of longer-lasting phones. Experience has shown us that it takes a lot of time and resources to keep operating systems updated, especially on older phones. In an industry built around selling the newest, shiniest model, it’s no surprise that updates ad infinitum aren’t in the business models of the big corporate players. That’s why alternative software routes are the answer to keep your Fairphone running securely for longer.

“Our partnership with /e/ Foundation is exciting because we both strive to change the way the tech industry operates in our own way,” says Eva. By joining together, we can all show that there are better, kinder paths to take, and step by step grow the movement for fairer electronics.

The /e/OS Fairphone 3 is available for online purchase right now >>

For more information, visit our Open Source page.

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