Does Firefox share my location with websites?

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This article explains the location-aware features of Firefox and how to manage permissions for websites that ask you to share your location.

Location-Aware Browsing

Websites that use location-aware browsing will ask where you are located in order to bring you more relevant information or save you time while searching. Let’s say you’re looking for a pizza restaurant in your area. A website can ask you to share your location so that simply searching for “pizza” will bring you the answers you need... no further information or extra typing required.

Or, if you’re mapping out directions to get somewhere, the website will know where you’re starting from, so all you have to do is tell it where you want to go.

This service is totally optional – Firefox doesn’t share your location without your permission, and is done with the utmost respect for your privacy. And, like all elements of Firefox, it is created using open standards to ease adoption by Web developers.

How does it work?

When you visit a location-aware website, Firefox will ask you if you want to share your location.

Fx60AllowLocationAccessFx89AllowLocationAccess

If you allow location access, Firefox gathers information about nearby wireless access points and your computer’s IP address, and sends this information to the default geolocation service provider, Google Location Services, to get an estimate of your location. That location estimate is then shared with the requesting website.

If you do not allow access, Firefox will not do anything.

If you check-mark the box to remember this decision, Firefox will always allow or always block location access for that website without asking.

What information is being sent, and to whom? How is my privacy protected?

Your privacy is extremely important to us, and Firefox never shares your location without your permission. When you visit a page that requests your information, you’ll be asked before any information is shared with the requesting website and our third-party service provider.

By default, Firefox uses Google Location Services to determine your location by sending:

  • your computer’s IP address,
  • information about the nearby wireless access points, and
  • a random client identifier, which is assigned by Google, that expires every 2 weeks.

Google Location Services then returns your estimated geolocation. For a complete description of information collected and used by Google, please see the Google Location Service in Mozilla Firefox Privacy Policy.

The information is exchanged over an encrypted connection to protect your privacy. Once Firefox has your location information, it passes it to the website that requested it. The name and location of the website you are visiting are never shared with Google Location Services.

For a complete description of information collected and used by Firefox, please see the Firefox Privacy Notice.

For information about what the requesting website does with your location information, please refer to that website’s privacy policy.

How do I undo a permission granted to a site?

  1. In the Menu bar at the top of the screen, click Firefox and select Preferences. Click the menu button Fx57Menu and select OptionsPreferences.Click the menu button Fx89menuButton and select Settings.

  2. Use the OptionsPreferencesSettings search box to search for "location" (or select the Privacy & Security panel and scroll down to the Permissions section).
  3. Under Permissions, click the Settings button to the right of Location.
    preferences-search-results-locationFx89Settings-locationSearchResults
    • The Settings - Location Permissions dialog box will open.
    Fx89LocationPermissions
  4. Review or change the list of sites with allowed or denied location permission.

How do I stop all sites from asking to access my location?

If a site indicates to Firefox that it wants to access your location, Firefox asks, by default, whether you want to grant permission. You can set Firefox to automatically deny new permission requests to all websites, without asking.

  1. In the Menu bar at the top of the screen, click Firefox and select Preferences. Click the menu button Fx57Menu and select OptionsPreferences.Click the menu button Fx89menuButton and select Settings.

  2. Use the OptionsPreferencesSettings search box to search for "location" (or select the Privacy & Security panel and scroll down to the Permissions section).
  3. Under Permissions, click the Settings… button to the right of Location.
  4. In the Settings - Location Permissions box that opens, check-mark the box next to Block new requests asking to access your location.
  5. Click Save Changes.

This will prevent any websites from requesting new permission to access your location. Only the sites with permission granted in the Location Permissions settings box will have access.

How can I add support for Geolocation to my web site?

You can integrate Geolocation support into your service by following the Geolocation API guide at MDN web docs.

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