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Frank Hovis

Share Location - how does this work?

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I use the AA site for traffic news these days and it invites me to share my location; which I do.  I have Noscript & Adblock on and run Spybot regularly which may be why it keeps having to ask.

It then selects some random street and postcode, usually 20 - 25 miles away but occasionally up to 50 miles away, and "pinpoints" me as being there.  It's never got closer than 20 miles  and it's always placing me in reasonable sized towns as opposed to villages.

I assume it's identifying some central hub that I connect into but I find it out that it jumps around so much.  If it was always the same town I could understand it more.

What's happening here internet experts?

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8 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Home router, TalkTalk (I find them fine despite what people say!).

 

My internet connection used to come out in Worcester. Wiith your home internet broadband the location often thinks you are where your ISP Point of Presence is. This is why those internet surveys that claim that X respondents who said Y are crap.

With your mobile or tablet though it should, if not going via your home router, work on the GPS chip in the device. Dependent upon the quality of the GPS chip they can narrow you down to a few feet.

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Most telcos have a gps value on their kit. I think bt records gos location of their intelligent roadside boxes

However you might be on a dumb extension. And talk talk might be fucking up.

Most browsers support reading a tablets gps location - if it has gps.

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1 hour ago, Frank Hovis said:

I use the AA site for traffic news these days and it invites me to share my location; which I do.  I have Noscript & Adblock on and run Spybot regularly which may be why it keeps having to ask.

It then selects some random street and postcode, usually 20 - 25 miles away but occasionally up to 50 miles away, and "pinpoints" me as being there.  It's never got closer than 20 miles  and it's always placing me in reasonable sized towns as opposed to villages.

I assume it's identifying some central hub that I connect into but I find it out that it jumps around so much.  If it was always the same town I could understand it more.

What's happening here internet experts?

I seem to recall there being a problem when the location service used a simple geometric average of a 'zone'* to produce the location.  There was some place in the USA which came up as the location of all sorts of dodgy stuff as it was some kind of geometric average location.  To solve this IIRC they added a randomisation factor which would spice up the location a bit.  

Perhaps something to do with that?

[* in your case the zone would be the area covered by the isp, or perhaps just a circular area centred on the isp location]

Edited by dgul

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I'm interested in this because I don't want to be tracked and my location known! I just find it disturbing.

At home I have talk talk wifi and an iPad. I don't take the iPad out with me. I have a Doro Easy phone with no internet connection. It's only for emergency situations and sending a few texts.

Am I safe from any kind of tracking regarding my location?

Edited by Economic Exile

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Depends on who you think will be tracking you.

They can triangulate location from a normal phone signal to a fair accuracy.  It won't be trackable if it is off, but will if it is on (even if you're not using it).

The iPad will be linked to the ip of the hotspot you're using.  It'll know when you're at home, work, on holiday or visiting a cafe with free wifi.  The iPad will know roughly where each of those locations is, to about a 20 mile radius.

Using a VPN could confuse things a little, but again, it depends who's tracking you.

Edited by dgul

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18 minutes ago, dgul said:

Depends on who you think will be tracking you.

They can triangulate location from a normal phone signal to a fair accuracy.  It won't be trackable if it is off, but will if it is on (even if you're not using it).

The iPad will be linked to the ip of the hotspot you're using.  It'll know when you're at home, work, on holiday or visiting a cafe with free wifi.  The iPad will know roughly where each of those locations is, to about a 20 mile radius.

Using a VPN could confuse things a little, but again, it depends who's tracking you.

No one in particular, I just don't want anyone to track me.

Thank you for your reply. I'm hopeful because I don't often take iPad anywhere. I'll start switching phone off because it's rarely used.

Perhaps it's because I'm older that I find this constant tracking of persons disconcerting.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Economic Exile said:

No one in particular, I just don't want anyone to track me.

Thank you for your reply. I'm hopeful because I don't often take iPad anywhere. I'll start switching phone off because it's rarely used.

Perhaps it's because I'm older that I find this constant tracking of persons disconcerting.

I'm absolutely convinced that there will be a new social trend along soon* about going off grid (ie, not the current fringe thing, but mainstream amongst young people).  They'll be computer savvy, etc, and will have assumed internet connectivity -- just that they'll work things so that they're not (so easily) traceable.  

[* not immediately.  Next 5 years or so]

[I'd accept that this seems like madness seeing as where we currently are -- but it is my theory and I'm sticking with it]

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1 minute ago, dgul said:

I'm absolutely convinced that there will be a new social trend along soon* about going off grid (ie, not the current fringe thing, but mainstream amongst young people).  They'll be computer savvy, etc, and will have assumed internet connectivity -- just that they'll work things so that they're not (so easily) traceable.  

[* not immediately.  Next 5 years or so]

[I'd accept that this seems like madness seeing as where we currently are -- but it is my theory and I'm sticking with it]

I hope you're correct in your theory that youngsters will rebel against being tracked!

However, going by prior posts and other things I've read, I'm not convinced we have reached the stage where constant accurate tracking of a person is in place. Although it may be possible if one was a "person of interest".

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28 minutes ago, Economic Exile said:

I hope you're correct in your theory that youngsters will rebel against being tracked!

However, going by prior posts and other things I've read, I'm not convinced we have reached the stage where constant accurate tracking of a person is in place. Although it may be possible if one was a "person of interest".

It absolutely is.  And everyone is a 'person of interest' to marketing folk.

In my theory the new trends will be a bit like goths or punks -- a visible anti-establishment presence, not 'bad' but definitely different and noticeable.  And it won't be borne in ignorance, but definite understanding of the relationship between the user and those trying to take advantage of them.

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I'm not sure youngsters will, they willingly log their entire lives on social media, they won't be able to stop texting or surfing or drive cars.  Or us ATMs or pay for stuff on credit cards in shops.

We're all fucked basically.  The only solution is to destroy the internet.

Edited by The Prick

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7 minutes ago, The Prick said:

I'm not sure youngsters will, they willingly log their entire lives on social media, they won't be able to stop texting or surfing or drive cars.  Or us ATMs or pay for stuff on credit cards in shops.

We're all fucked basically.  The only solution is to destroy the internet.

That is just predicting the future by looking at the present.

The next generation always rebels against the norms of the previous.  If the generation now having babies is the 'everything social media' generation, then the next could quite possibly be the 'never use social media' generation.  

We're currently at the 'twitter and facebook are for old people' stage.  What's next?  

 

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I don't think youngsters do care that much. I'm always nagging my daughter to be careful about what she puts online and to keep her location services off and privacy settings turned up to the max for a start.

As part of my job I went on a course recently to learn how to use open source information to trace individuals and track their activities. It's bloody terrifying what you can find out frankly and that's just from free to use sources, cough up a bit of cash and you get a whole new level of data. 

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11 minutes ago, dgul said:

It absolutely is.  And everyone is a 'person of interest' to marketing folk.

In my theory the new trends will be a bit like goths or punks -- a visible anti-establishment presence, not 'bad' but definitely different and noticeable.  And it won't be borne in ignorance, but definite understanding of the relationship between the user and those trying to take advantage of them.

Yes regarding marketing I agree. However with money becoming harder to get for the masses without debt I'm hopeful that corporations will continue to suffer in attempting to flog stuff.

Personally I'm not influenced by marketing I just really dislike the idea of my location being tracked. I have nothing to hide but I realise the establishment are keen to constantly track everyone because of those who are up to no good.

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1 hour ago, dgul said:

Depends on who you think will be tracking you.

They can triangulate location from a normal phone signal to a fair accuracy.  It won't be trackable if it is off, but will if it is on (even if you're not using it).

The iPad will be linked to the ip of the hotspot you're using.  It'll know when you're at home, work, on holiday or visiting a cafe with free wifi.  The iPad will know roughly where each of those locations is, to about a 20 mile radius.

Using a VPN could confuse things a little, but again, it depends who's tracking you.

When I go to,find my iPad, it knows exactly where I am to within metres. :ph34r:

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4 minutes ago, Economic Exile said:

Yes regarding marketing I agree. However with money becoming harder to get for the masses without debt I'm hopeful that corporations will continue to suffer in attempting to flog stuff.

Personally I'm not influenced by marketing I just really dislike the idea of my location being tracked. I have nothing to hide but I realise the establishment are keen to constantly track everyone because of those who are up to no good.

Always remember that marketing is terribly powerful.  The only way to free yourself from it is to become so niche that you're not of interest to them.  If you were of interest to them you'd have already bought the product/service.  Just being 'so clever that you're beyond influence' is a nice happy state of mind, but probably isn't actually achievable.

[I'm probably over-selling this, but far too many people are in a state of denial, thinking that they're so great because they've not bought the perfume or the latest album after seeing that stupid advert, but the truth is that the advert wasn't aimed at them.  They're already buying the crap from the other marketing (not just advertising) thrown their way without noticing it.  Just as the person who bought the perfume or the album didn't really notice the advert aimed at them, and were laughing at the morons buying the new car, etc, etc]

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12 minutes ago, dgul said:

That is just predicting the future by looking at the present.

The next generation always rebels against the norms of the previous.  If the generation now having babies is the 'everything social media' generation, then the next could quite possibly be the 'never use social media' generation.  

We're currently at the 'twitter and facebook are for old people' stage.  What's next?  

 

Maybe they'll ditch social media but they'll have to go and live in a cave to get round all the other means of tracking them.

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10 minutes ago, One percent said:

When I go to,find my iPad, it knows exactly where I am to within metres. :ph34r:

Scary isn't it

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2 minutes ago, The Prick said:

Maybe they'll ditch social media but they'll have to go and live in a cave to get round all the other means of tracking them.

Dunno.  I do, however, know that the future is likely to look different from the present.

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