Windows 10: Detecting computer's location in Edge and FF...

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  1. Posts : 1,582
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       28 Jul 2015 #11

    The Geolocation libraries phone home to MS. They conform to the API outlined above and will use all permissible location data.

    MS has a big SQL Server distributed DBS which has data about you and yours written into various tables including devices, IP addresses, various MAC addresses, Motherboard FCCA certificates, SLIC and UEFI data, Software and licensing states (activated or not! - I discovered recently), IMEI information, your mobile number, alternative email addresses, MSA , Store Purchase history, and so on. It checks back up on you on occasions, asking you to verify your Microsoft account - you may use an alternative email or your Windows ( Android or I-) phone, which also probably syncs to your MSA. You have a choice, except when you use a Windows phone. Your Photos may sync to your OneDrive too.
    You can see a little bit of it by visiting https://account.microsoft.com with your MSA as your logon, unless you already signed in to your live account.

    The GPS is not the only way to track a mobile phone.

    It triangulates between phone cells all the time, just to see which is the best network signal. The position of your phone at any time is stored in a database, and can be tracked forensically to show where your phone was, when switched on, at any time. The cell information tracks your phone, and the densest tracks identify where and when your phone was located.

    Sometimes (like, er, all the time in your and my parts of the world) your phone will be able to stumble upon signals from WiFi access points and hotspots, which broadcast their MAC and signal strength, identifying the location and this can be identified with data stored on yet another set of databases, despite the phone not actively using WiFi, it listens in case it needs to connect to it and for location data, which is passed back to combine and increase the precision with any GPS and cell position data it may have. It does not keep all this data, it phones home, and uploads it to the databases at intervals.

    When Google drove around your neighbourhood taking pictures of the streets and real estate, it was also recording WiFi signals and mapping them too. Google Gathered Public WiFi Data For Maps, Connecticut Attorney General Says

    Your ISP also maps all its hotspots, if you are still with Optimum: Optimum WiFi Hotspots Map| Optimum If you have moved on your current ISP does similar exercises for its customers, e.g. XFINITY WiFi Hotspot Finder perhaps. Even if there are not hotspots in the area most domestic and commercial wifi installations broadcast their BSSID information. Even the mass transit systems have Wifi don't they?

    Still not convinced? Oh well, I tried.

    If you try and log in from an unfamiliar system, you will usually be asked for verification. Even Yahoo does this. How do they know - well they don't, but they ask anyway if your location is not recorded on their Database.

    I'd agree with your statement about Firefox, but I can't say that duckduckgo is a favourite for me in terms of retrieval. I don't share quite the same Weltanschauung about security as you do. For instance, I cannot see the point in not sharing location data, when I want to know what an accurate weather forecast will be for me where I am, so long as the app will also forecast the weather for me tomorrow when I will be in London. If it's broken in the "on" position, that seems good to me.

    The Microsoft problem for you may have something to do with your IE 11 problem, or just incomplete registry entries/Missing Group Policy switches like the problem that broke Windows Photo Viewer for some: Is Windows Photo Viewer gone? - Windows 10 Forums It will be fixed in fairly quick order I imagine.

    What is worrying is that Organizational leaks due to some disgruntled employee / crazy person / freedom fighter /terrorist can happen, and even worse, data can be illicitly sold to some deep pocketed nation, or multinational organization, who can use the data, without the controls that we thought we once had. Then perhaps we shall all be compromised. However, in the end it is Microsoft's data and intellectual property, and not ours, even though it personally concerns you and me.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    28 Jul 2015 #12

    Fafhrd said: View Post
    The Geolocation libraries phone home to MS. They conform to the API outlined above and will use all permissible location data.

    MS has a big SQL Server distributed DBS which has data about you and yours written into various tables including devices, IP addresses, various MAC addresses, Motherboard FCCA certificates, SLIC and UEFI data, Software and licensing states (activated or not! - I discovered recently), IMEI information, your mobile number, alternative email addresses, MSA , Store Purchase history, and so on. It checks back up on you on occasions, asking you to verify your Microsoft account - you may use an alternative email or your Windows ( Android or I-) phone, which also probably syncs to your MSA. You have a choice, except when you use a Windows phone. Your Photos may sync to your OneDrive too.
    You can see a little bit of it by visiting https://account.microsoft.com with your MSA as your logon, unless you already signed in to your live account.
    You didn't tell me anything so far that I didn't know. My point was that Microsoft gives the option to disable location sharing and they do not apply to themselves. And no, I don't use MS account to login to my computer, nor do i sign in to OneDrive. Your statements about Windows phone are incorrect...

    Still not convinced? Oh well, I tried.
    I am not convinced, but nice try...

    I understand your points, even if some of them not applicable in my case. The fact is that Microsoft changes the search results for another search engine, either as a "feature" or paid advertisement, despite the configuration explicitly stating that do not share my location information. Either don't give me the option to disable location sharing, or state that MS will share this information on any way it sees fit regardless of the settings.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    28 Jul 2015 #13

    Cr00zng said: View Post
    You didn't tell me anything so far that I didn't know. My point was that Microsoft gives the option to disable location sharing and they do not apply to themselves. And no, I don't use MS account to login to my computer, nor do i sign in to OneDrive. Your statements about Windows phone are incorrect...
    You are jumping to the wrong conclusions. This has nothing to do with Microsoft. The web servers themselves know who you are by your IP address. That IP address can be looked up in IP-to-location databases, regardless of any settings in your OS. That is what most websites use to locate you.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 1,582
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       28 Jul 2015 #14

    Beta prerelease software - works exactly as it says on the box it came in, not necessarily the way you want it to.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    01 Aug 2015 #15

    Mystere said: View Post
    You are jumping to the wrong conclusions. This has nothing to do with Microsoft. The web servers themselves know who you are by your IP address. That IP address can be looked up in IP-to-location databases, regardless of any settings in your OS. That is what most websites use to locate you.
    While that's true, the webservers know my IP address, only Edge does it. Using the same search engine, DDG with the same search term, Firefox does not display the forecast.io link with GPS location. The location sharing is disabled in Firefox.

    In another word Edge, or on a wider view, Microsoft changes the DDG search results on the "fly", inserting the seemingly "organic" link as the first result of the search. And that's despite the fact that location services are disabled that evidently does not apply to Edge or Microsoft in general. It would be interesting to know how DDG would view hijacking its search result. Even more interesting, if hackers could use modifying the search result on the "fly" to insert their own URL as the first link to their malware, organic or not...

    Fafhrd said: View Post
    Beta prerelease software - works exactly as it says on the box it came in, not necessarily the way you want it to.
    Now, now... Windows 10 RTM had been released on June 29, 2015. As such, it's no longer Beta version...
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 1,582
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       01 Aug 2015 #16

    I posted that 4 days ago, when it was still beta and pre-release. Today is 01 August > release + 3 and counting, so I can't let you get away with that, despite the timezones

    DDG is not in the same league with Google or Bing - whereas DDG does not use tracking info, I suppose, to give a "personalized and user oriented" search result, it also does not find things I might just be interested in, based on my historical searches. For me it is an inferior product.

    I am not interested in advertising and marketing related searches. I use modified host files on my various OSs (Windows and Linux) to prevent web-pages from showing much of the rubbish that gets in the way of enjoyment of searching the web for information. It has no bearing on most of the fora, such as this one, that I subscribe to since membership has the reward of repressing what a guest would see if they dropped in here.

    Simply put, Windows 10 is an Operating system that relies on knowing your location, where you are accessing it from, now. Otherwise Cortana can't remind you, when you get to the dentist, that you need to make an appointment for your mother to get a checkup.

    It is not a desktop only operating system any more.

    If you don't wish your OS to do that, you may be happier to stick with an earlier version, perhaps?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    01 Aug 2015 #17

    Fafhrd said: View Post
    I posted that 4 days ago, when it was still beta and pre-release. Today is 01 August > release + 3 and counting, so I can't let you get away with that, despite the timezones
    Actually, the Windows 10 RTM had been released about two weeks ego, so, both of us are wrong...

    DDG is not in the same league with Google or Bing - whereas DDG does not use tracking info, I suppose, to give a "personalized and user oriented" search result, it also does not find things I might just be interested in, based on my historical searches. For me it is an inferior product.
    The point was that Edge or Windows system changed DDG search result, while Firefox does not on the same PC. I fail to see what relevence the subjective quality of the search engine has to do with this...

    It is not a desktop only operating system any more.

    If you don't wish your OS to do that, you may be happier to stick with an earlier version, perhaps?
    Get it right, Windows 10 runs in the cloud and doesn't have much to do with the desktop, other than providing the source of the data being collected. And of course I will stick with my Windows Vista, 7 and 8.x until I can.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    01 Aug 2015 #18

    No, you are wrong. DDG displays the tracking info regardless of browser. Look again at the URL for both of them, they point to different URL's. Copy and paste the URL from Edge into FF, you will see the same results.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    22 Aug 2015 #19

    Lets say your IP comes with an 'basic' location (mostly the ISP's street-address).
    this location is pretty close to some end users already (let say 25Miles away)..
    but, when u use google maps and stuff (let say on ur phone, so your phone knows ur last location)
    when u use ur wifi at home, google adds that location and IP to a data base.

    now the explaining why the links differ;
    IE not yet knowing the exact address of the IP, will come with that 'basic' location...
    but chrome (tied to google) knows the exact location (<2 miles)...

    ofc the different systems share (or steal) the info, but that does not mean they trust each-others info.
    or maybe the info was not shared yet at all

    hope that explained the difference between the links
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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