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Google limits my searches to the city/state I live in despite privacy settings?????

Posted

vendors, maps, national and academic resources are limited to the vicinity of my residential area. Privacy settings are set to not track, not save history and not refer to previous searches. I routinely dump any possible cached data, check setting to prevent changes to settings that may have changed without my awareness, and immediately access page information to check myself when this limitation has been imposed by Google. I use gmail but I do not chat, do community stuff, nor do I use Chrome or any other feature Google waves under my nose. Can I stop this? What am I missing?

vendors, maps, national and academic resources are limited to the vicinity of my residential area. Privacy settings are set to not track, not save history and not refer to previous searches. I routinely dump any possible cached data, check setting to prevent changes to settings that may have changed without my awareness, and immediately access page information to check myself when this limitation has been imposed by Google. I use gmail but I do not chat, do community stuff, nor do I use Chrome or any other feature Google waves under my nose. Can I stop this? What am I missing?

Chosen solution

Many sites will geo-locate you by reference to your computer's IP address if they don't have any more specific information to go on. To see how specific that is, you could look up your IP address using a site such as the following:

http://www.iplocation.net/ (don't give permission to use Firefox's built-in location feature, just let the site report what it knows from its own sources)

The only workaround for that is to use a service such as a private VPN to make it appear that your requests originate from a different IP address in some other location. I'm not sure the results will be less annoying...

Read this answer in context 4

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Google Update
  • Shockwave Flash 11.9 r900
  • Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version 12.0.7.148
  • Intel web components for Intel® Identity Protection Technology
  • Intel web components updater - Installs and updates the Intel web components
  • NPWLPG

Application

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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64; rv:26.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/26.0
  • Support URL: https://support.mozilla.org/1/firefox/26.0/WINNT/en-US/

Extensions

  • avast! Online Security 9.0.2013.75 (wrc@avast.com)
  • Troubleshooter 1.1a (troubleshooter@mozilla.org)

Javascript

  • incrementalGCEnabled: True

Graphics

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  • adapterDeviceID2:
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  • adapterVendorID2:
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  • directWriteVersion: 6.2.9200.16581
  • driverDate: 7-31-2012
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  • windowLayerManagerRemote: False
  • windowLayerManagerType: Direct3D 10

Modified Preferences

  • accessibility.blockautorefresh: True
  • accessibility.typeaheadfind.flashBar: 0
  • browser.cache.disk.capacity: 358400
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.enabled: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.use_old_max: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size_cached_value: 358400
  • browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion: 4
  • browser.privatebrowsing.autostart: True
  • browser.search.suggest.enabled: False
  • browser.sessionstore.upgradeBackup.latestBuildID: 20131205075310
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID: 20131205075310
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone: 26.0
  • browser.urlbar.autocomplete.enabled: False
  • dom.mozApps.used: True
  • extensions.lastAppVersion: 26.0
  • gfx.direct3d.last_used_feature_level_idx: 0
  • network.cookie.cookieBehavior: 1
  • network.cookie.prefsMigrated: True
  • places.database.lastMaintenance: 1390770510
  • places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages: 104551
  • plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types: application/pdf
  • plugin.importedState: True
  • privacy.cpd.offlineApps: True
  • privacy.cpd.siteSettings: True
  • privacy.donottrackheader.enabled: True
  • privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs: True
  • security.default_personal_cert: Select Automatically
  • security.disable_button.openCertManager: False
  • security.disable_button.openDeviceManager: False
  • storage.vacuum.last.index: 1
  • storage.vacuum.last.places.sqlite: 1388833258

Misc

  • User JS: No
  • Accessibility: No
philipp
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
2817 solutions 13102 answers

Helpful Reply

hello cthib, websites can detect your approximate location based on your IP address and change their content accordingly - there's not much you or the browser can do about that (except using tor, proxies or vpns to pretend a different IP)...

http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/network-location/

hello cthib, websites can detect your approximate location based on your IP address and change their content accordingly - there's not much you or the browser can do about that (except using tor, proxies or vpns to pretend a different IP)... http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/network-location/
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2988 solutions 27771 answers

Chosen Solution

Many sites will geo-locate you by reference to your computer's IP address if they don't have any more specific information to go on. To see how specific that is, you could look up your IP address using a site such as the following:

http://www.iplocation.net/ (don't give permission to use Firefox's built-in location feature, just let the site report what it knows from its own sources)

The only workaround for that is to use a service such as a private VPN to make it appear that your requests originate from a different IP address in some other location. I'm not sure the results will be less annoying...

Many sites will geo-locate you by reference to your computer's IP address if they don't have any more specific information to go on. To see how specific that is, you could look up your IP address using a site such as the following: http://www.iplocation.net/ (don't give permission to use Firefox's built-in location feature, just let the site report what it knows from its own sources) The only workaround for that is to use a service such as a private VPN to make it appear that your requests originate from a different IP address in some other location. I'm not sure the results will be less annoying...