Friday May 1, 2009 05:31

Firefox supports Geolocation Service

Posted by Channy Yun

Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 and higher starts to support W3C’s Geolocation APIs developed by Google.com based on Gears Geolocation API. It offers your privacy information such as IP address of your PC or Wi/fi to Google server for recognizing your position under only your agreement.

You can see it simple demo.

firefox-geolocation

If you have GPS enabled device, geolocation returns your location directly to web sites. This is very useful in mobile web service to find coffee shop, restaurant and friends via iPhone and PDA with GPS. But, if you don’t have this kind of device, Firefox sends your information to Geolocation service providers as like Google and get your position from its server.

Firefox doesn’t save your information or send them to any other 3rd party. If you grant to get your position, your location informations may be sent to your web site as well Google’s geolocation server. But, Firefox also doesn’t send the informaton of web site that wants to get your position to Google.

Firefox user can change default setting for Geolocation service from Google to another 3rd party that supports W3C Geolocation APIs. You type “about:config” in address bar and change “geo.wifi.uri” from “https://www.google.com/loc/json” to another. Now there is no services to do.

For more information, please refer to Geolocation in Firefox

There is my concern for privacy. I knew there was a heavy privacy discussion in WWW2009 and refer to Privacy Diffusion on the Web: A Longitudinal Perspective that shows Google has been the strong collector by their family’s cookie and javascript.

Google’s Geolocation service means that Google can collect and organize user’s information related to position such as GPS position, personal profiles such as address, mobile information to get correct IP-address database. In my experience, the user profile can make probabilistic database between IP address and real address. Google can be real big brother?

2 Responses to Firefox supports Geolocation Service

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Austin Bankruptcy Attorney

July 16th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Hi,
I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.
Regards,
Jane

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Tampa accident attorney

October 10th, 2009 at 1:39 am

Great post, not so glad about the idea of the big brother thing.

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