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How can I turn off Location-aware browsing?
Got notice of upgrade. Downloaded 3.6.15 and installed. On your page describing new features, you prominently mention "Location-aware browsing," as well as the fact that I can turn this spyware off, but after looking through all the "Tools" area, I cannot find a way to turn it off. I am absolutely disgusted that Mozilla has been allowing people to spy on me all these many years I have been using your browsers clear back to Netscape. How can you get away with this without asking my permission? NOW TELL ME HOW TO TURN OFF THIS INSIDIOUS PIECE OF *!
Edited for language - TonyE
Modified by TonyE
All Replies (10)
People can not spy on you. Firefox only requests a location when a website makes a request, and only shares your location when you has approved the request. Firefox does not track or remember your location as you browse.
It is an opt-in service, to turn disable it do the following:
- Type about:config into the location bar and press enter
- Accept the warning message that appears, you will be taken to a list of preferences
- Locate the preference geo.enabled, double-click on it to change its value to false
For more details on it see http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/geolocation/
Thank you, I will apply immediately.
I have done this: geo.enabled, double-click on it to change its value to false but Google still has my location. So whats up?
Google is using your IP Address to determine where you are located, when the GeoLocation pref is turned off. GeoLocation uses wi-fi statistical information to determine your location (doesn't work for a wired connection PC), whereas your IP Address is matched thru service provider information about a particular IP Address or a narrow range of IP Addresses.
To keep websites from knowing your IP Address (and thus your approximate location - the location of an IP addresses typically isn't as accurate as GeoLocation) you would need to use a Proxy to serve as a "middle-man" connection.
Sorry I did forget to add that I do use VPN and they told me not to give permission for location service but I was never asked in the first place. If I need Googles help to find something I can ask specifically I don't need them for location otherwise.
The VPN should mask your true location and only reveal the location of the "head office" where the actual connection for the "private network" (or intranet) to the internet is made (from the little I know about VPN's). The VPN server handles the routing to the exact PC which made the request.
You can't block Google or any other website from knowing your "location" entirely, otherwise the web site wouldn't know where to send the data that you requested when clicking on a hyperlink. No IP Address to identify your from the billions of other devices connected to the internet and the website can't send the requested data to your PC.
This might be a little easier to explain in less technical terms if you told us more about what you are trying to do or to avoid leaving traces of doing on the internet. Basically, if you are using a company intranet (or VPN), they can log every website your PC connects to or gets a connection from. They can also block NSFW type websites and "time wasters" like social networking websites. I have experienced this myself when using my netbook on our clients intranet with a WiFi connection to connect to my own company's website to do job reporting, and then do a little "surfing" to kill time until my service call time elapsed.
I pay for VPN services and was just surprised that Google still could locate even with that on( hence "I pay"). This has only happened since I updated Firefox yesterday. And no I'm not doing anything wrong but I still like my privacy and feel Google/Firefox should not be able to do that without my permission. I have made the change to the geo-locate to "false" and even removed the "wifi" line that had googles address but its still the same. when I check "what is my IP" it shows the VPN ip so I'm stumped as to how this is. But this is interesting to find out how they are doing it. Thanks for all your help!
I tried the about:config, geo.enable double-click solution, but it didn't work. (I also cleared cookies and history, restarted Firefox, and restarted the computer just in case.) I don't need to hide my location; however, in order to find something near my current city, it really only requires including said city in the search. (It seems somewhat insidious when the information being searched for is limited to a geographic locale rather than the most popular or relevant results especially when I did not want that particular information. If that information is always skewed towards location, then I am not getting the search results I desire.) If the geo locate could simply be turned off (and work) in either Firefox or Google, it might not be worth complaint, but because it cannot it is. Are there any permanent solutions other than going through TOR or using Scroogle?
You always need to give confirmation to use Geolocation if a website wants to use it via a bar at the top of the browser window and you can deny.
A website can however always do a reverse DNS lookup to see where your IP locates you you.
That is not the same as Geolocation as Geolocation is meant to be used if you use a wireless access point connection to get your location.
Fascinating. I can't turn off geolocation in Firefox or godhelpme IE8 but I can and did turn it off in Chrome. Damn that google, they're getting as bad as microsoft. Have they hijacked your software or what? Yeah, I read the part about wireless signals, etc., but if that's the case why can I turn off the feature -- easily -- in Chrome? I love Firefox, don't want to use Chrome, but I need to keep my location off my search results -- it's for work and it's legit -- so I have to switch browsers for my searches. Boo. This totally SUCKS.