Oct 102010
 
 October 10, 2010  Online, Surveillance

Ben Grubb reports:

If you thought websites planting tracking “cookies” on your computer was a cause for privacy concerns, what’s known as “location-aware browsing” is able to pinpoint your physical location – and fairly accurately.

Electronic Frontiers Australia chairman Colin Jacobs said this could mean that various websites would have in their databases a history of “where you have been and when”.

If you’re on a computer with Wi-Fi – which most have these days (especially laptops) – then it’s likely you can be pinpointed using the Google Location Service.

Read more in The Age and follow the link to try the Firefox demo. When I tried it, Google was able to pinpoint my location exactly.

  3 Responses to “How sites can pinpoint you without the need for a GPS”

  1. In Firefox, go into about:config and add a boolean value (if it’s not already there) called geo.enabled and set it to false. This turns off the geolocation feature in Firefox. There’s a similar setting in Chrome and Opera but I believe those are available in the configuration menu(s).

    • Thanks, Lamont!

      In Chrome, it’s under Tools –> Options –> Under the Hood –> Privacy: Content Settings –> Location

  2. You’re welcome. 🙂

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