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Friday, October 10, 2008

Firefox To Help Websites Home In On Your Location

Mozilla has released a new add-on technology for Firefox that helps websites detect the physical location of computers. The Geode project uses technology from Skyhook known as the Loki system which works out a computer's location from nearby wireless networks and can determine the location within seconds with an accuracy of about 10 to 20 metres. "Geode is strictly controlled by the user. When a website requests a location, a notification bar lets users decide whether to give their exact whereabouts, the neighbourhood or city they are in or nothing at all." The system will enable sites to serve up information relevant to the users location, such as news, weather, and of course ads, but also could be used for website authentication allowing people to log in from certain locations only. It's an interesting concept with obvious applications but it seems to me that it will only be a matter of time before the knowledge of our exact location is used against us for nefarious reasons. BBC story.