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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Location Tags in Google+ in Technical; I thought Facebook's privacy settings were worrying where children are involved, but Google have taken this to a new level. ...
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    enjay's Avatar
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    Location Tags in Google+

    I thought Facebook's privacy settings were worrying where children are involved, but Google have taken this to a new level. Not only is the default setting for all your posts "public", the location tagging is mad - I posted something yesterday from my phone and it said "your location has been entered below" and it then gave my street name and HOUSE NUMBER!!

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    It is a worry that posts default to public and the mobile app seems to automatically geotag your posts too, however what shocks me most is how accurate it is for you; even with GPS enabled, it's usually half a mile away on mine!

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    When I'm on my laptop, it gets it very wrong - I live in Reading, and it says "Brighton"; school isn't much better as I apparently work in Parliament Square! The mobile app was impressively accurate however, narrowing it down to a range of about 5 houses (it even seemed to know which side of the road I was on) so it is obviously using the fine GPS location, although I didn't notice it put the GPS icon up on screen, as it does when I open Facebook.

    If G+ is geotagging this accurately, that could be a wider concern than just status posts, if it does the same to my photos. I'll check that...

    (EDIT: Correction, it does put up the GPS icon, I guess I've just got used to ignoring it!)
    Last edited by enjay; 8th November 2011 at 10:55 AM.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Just tried the location from my office - not nearly as accurate, good to about 500 metres.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    The mobile app was impressively accurate however, narrowing it down to a range of about 5 houses (it even seemed to know which side of the road I was on)
    I wonder if it's anything to do with that WiFi data they illegally collected?

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Hmm. I was on my WiFi when it got my street and house number...

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Tried it again when I got home:
    * Laptop on WiFi - street name and range of 5 houses again
    * Laptop on direct connection to router - wrong by 50 miles!
    * Phone on WiFi - named the business next-door
    * Phone on 3G - put me on the next street along, perhaps 100 metres away

    That does kind of support what @los0jos suggested about the WiFi information,doesn't it...

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Tried it again when I got home:
    * Laptop on WiFi - street name and range of 5 houses again
    * Laptop on direct connection to router - wrong by 50 miles!
    * Phone on WiFi - named the business next-door
    * Phone on 3G - put me on the next street along, perhaps 100 metres away

    That does kind of support what @los0jos suggested about the WiFi information,doesn't it...
    It certainly sounds that way, although I thought they had had to agree to discard all that data?

    I expect the direct connection to the router is actually reporting the location of data centre you're connected to...

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    It certainly sounds that way, although I thought they had had to agree to discard all that data?
    I think it might come down to very clever wording - there is a difference between the data they captured from the networks and the location of the networks themselves. My network is secured (of course!) so they wouldn't have captured any data sent from my PC to the Internet, but could still have captured the network name and location. They could have deleted the data packets they captured, but retained the fact that a network of that name exists in that location.

    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    I expect the direct connection to the router is actually reporting the location of data centre you're connected to...
    Undoubtedly true, but I'm using that same data centre when I'm WiFi-connected to my router, so by rights it should give the same location, not one 50 miles away and one accurate to within metres. The vast difference would strongly suggest that my WiFi details are being used to locate me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Undoubtedly true, but I'm using that same data centre when I'm WiFi-connected to my router, so by rights it should give the same location, not one 50 miles away and one accurate to within metres. The vast difference would strongly suggest that my WiFi details are being used to locate me.
    Totally agree, that's what I was trying to get at: the fact that it's so much more accurate when using WiFi supports the theory that a lookup has been done on it's SSID



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