Why browser geolocation matters to privacy
Where you are located on Earth can be pretty sensitive information. How does it work in your browser and what are the privacy implications?
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Geolocation tracking can be misused at scale in even more ways. Recently, a German artist [...]
I don't think this is "misuse at scale" - this is Google maps working exactly as intended.
the MAC address of the Wi-Fi device
I guess if you connect via ethernet only, then MLS can't give you an accurate location? I've never bothered to try using it.
Mozilla Location Services ist not really accurate, outside of cities it often fail with location.
@lonm: Unless you organize a bank robbery and use this trick to clear your getaway. It can be misused in so many ways.
@OlgaA That's not the geolocation's fault. That's google's fault for trusting the data blindly.
@gwen-dragon: i'd love to have a switch to switch it to google.
mozilla service somehow learned my devices location from gps, then i moved, took all the devices and wifi routers. now im 20km away, but when there is no gps mozzila service thinks im in my old house.
pretty annoying and it's been 9 months since i moved!
google managed to learn my new location (i helped it few times when it detected wrong location in location history), mozilla refuses to do that and i don't know how to help it
oh... and while im at work, with my own laptop and own mobile - mozilla service returns my old home location too
to... it's simply useless
Vivaldi - please allow to switch back to google as an option. PLEASE.
@lonm: what should they do instead? sent a person there? ask crystal ball?
it's pretty everywhere - if you provide false inputs you get false outputs. it's not only google maps and it's not only google at all
@jacekn If you accept user input on the web you have to validate it at first.
And if you have a hundred source of info all claiming to be from the exact same location, then maybe it might be worth not blindly trusting that input.
That's google's fault for trusting the data blindly.
You mean: People using Google Services trust on unverified data. That is the business model. Collecting data without validation.
Chas4 last edited by
Recent OSes even have an option to control if location is shared with an application.
@Chas4 With a restriction: not for Windows programs, only applied to Windows Apps.
@Chas4 This is good, but it only works if apps use the built-in OS location API. If, like vivaldi, they do their own thing, then it won't work.
For me it does not seem to matter (although I keep Geolocation at "Ask" or Deny, dependong on the browser). However recently moved. Geolocation worked at expected at my prevois location, now no matter what site I go to that asks they seem to think I am in a city 200 miles away!? Same computer, all browsers (PaleMoon, Firefox, SeaMonkey and Vivaldi). The latest Win10, same happens on my old Linux laptop. Perhaps there is no Mozilla here?
I have studied the The New York Times Privacy Project, and was although I had an idea I was amazed at the ability to gather the amounts of information they did. If they can do it...
Glad I do not have a mobile phone.
miguelangelcarballo last edited by
la precaución y desconfianza, siempre debe ser unas de las motivaciones al hablar sobre estos temas, para quienes trabajamos en ambientes digitales, gracias por alertarnos, saludos olga !!!
Although Geolocation is disabled and Open Street Map is used, Google and others always know the location of each user, through direct and indirect sources (metadata). As in the other privacy issues, the user can only limit them, but never completely eliminate them. Less still using a smartphone with an OS completely controlled by a Multinational company.
True Mozilla is less accurate in some places, but this is down to the amount of samples being submitted.
Peoples android devices are filling the gaps for google all the time, but Mozilla rely on users having firefox open or that they have installed Mozilla stumbler.
In cities you have a higher chance of the resolution and frequency keeping the system updated.
Perhaps if more people opt to use Mozilla stumbler, and those that can set the Mozilla backend as the default in the system do so, the accuracy will improve.
If you want improved accuracy in your rural area, then maybe it is up to you to use stumbler whenever you travel around it.
Maybe Vivaldi should consider promoting Mozilla Stumbler.
@lonm: Yep, and that can be misused.
i'd love to have a switch to switch it to google.
Commercial use of Google's services need a license/contract and regular fees.
@miguelangelcarballo: Solo Ingles aqui, por favor.
@gwen-dragon: every chromium clone pays for that?