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  1. #1

    Geotargeting in browser - how?

    I'm a little concerned by the way websites are identifying me - I want to know, first of all - how does geolocation work? How is your location calculated? The only thing that came to *my* mind when I thought about it is for the server to ping the client and use the time, but that's HIGHLY unreliable, and anyway, it would give a radius, a circle of location, not ONE particular one.
    Number two, why does HTML 5 have features for geolocation? There have been websites that ask for my location, but since others can get it seemingly perfectly well without me agreeing, what was the point?


  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Victoria, B.C. Canada
    Actually the site asks the browser and the browser ask you for permission. If you don't want to be geolocated turn it off in your browser.

    If your device has GPS it is used, sometimes RF triangulation and other times IP address location data can be used. Some sites use it for the data they are serving.

  3. #3
    Nope, there have definitely been sites that get my location without asking me anything.....

    What is "RF triangulation" and "IP address location data"? Is the latter the result of a WHOIS lookup or something?

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Victoria, B.C. Canada
    There is an IP addressed based database that can be used by servers - it only works for fixed locations and deals in generalities and may be outdated and is based on where the service provider is.

    Radio frequency triangulation. Location based on the length of time signals from multiple (at least three) cell towers take to reach a cell phone.

    Location data that the service provider may choose to make available to the browser.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by gregm View Post
    There is an IP addressed based database

    Where did it come from? Who made it? How do you use it?

  7. #6
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Victoria, B.C. Canada
    Google is your friend.

  8. #7
    Oh come on.

    What do I search FOR?

  9. #8
    I do it by using a table of which numbers are assigned to which countries.

    I convert the IP address into an "IP Number" like this (PERL)

             # Calculate the IP Number...
             $IPNumber = ($IPTokens[0] * 16777216) + ($IPTokens[1] * 65536) +
                                 ($IPTokens[2] * 256)      + $IPTokens[3];
    Then I look this up in my table. The table contains a start number, an end number and the country that that block of addresses is assigned to. Here is a sample;


  10. #9
    Oh wow, cool! THAT's the vital info I needed.

    Where did you get that table?

  11. #10
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Roden (Netherlands
    If you use firefox you may have given permission without knowing. Open your browser, type about:config in the adressbar then search for "geo" to see your settings. Apart from geolocation: google for instance redirects you to your local google (in my case instead of based on your ip-address. To hide your ipaddress you need a proxyserver like hidemyass or if you are serious TOR.

    To protect your privacy in firefox consider addons like BetterPrivacy Self-DestructingCookies and Ghostery and Adblock+ for good measure. If you weren't paranoid before you will be when you see what's filtered and blocked.

    Also mind your preference settings. "Always private browsing" is not compatible with this combination of addons. I have chosen "use custom settings for history" and unchecked "remember browsing and downloadhistory, "remeber search and form history" and "accept cookies"

    Even on this site my Ghostery blocked 9 trackers (Double Click Advertising,Google Adsense,Google Analytics, ITunes Link Maker, Lijit, Netshelter, PageFair, SkimLinks and Zedo.) Yes, indeed. NINE TRACKERS ON THIS SITE!! - and last time i visisted I remember there were 10.

    Not every cookie or tracker or even LSO (flashcookies) is necessarily bad and sometimes they may be requiered or the website will no longer be functional (in wich case you can choose to whitelist a site), but at least you will know what's happening.

    And all these trackers track me although I have turned geolocation off. That alone doesn't help to much if you really value your privacy.

    Just be aware that Big Brother is watching you. And Google. And the NSA. And who knows who else.

    Yes I'm paranoid. But that doen't mean I'm wrong.

    You can always trust your government
    Microsoft is here to help you
    Google is your friend
    Santa Claus exists

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