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  1.    25 Jul 2015 #1
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 149
    Windows 10 64-bits

    Detecting computer's location in Edge and FF...


    Some oddities between Edge and Firefox on Windows 10, just curious why...

    Edge and Firefox 39 on Windows 10, with physical locations disabled in OS and browsers. In both browser, DDG is my default search engine.

    After typing in "weather" at duckduckgo.com, Edge shows this result:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	edge weather.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	186.5 KB 
ID:	25914

    The link circled on top right in red is displayed on the bottom left with "close enough" actual GPS location of my computer, when the mouse pointer is placed over it. The weather images, such as "Right now", "Today", etc., are hyperlinked to the same site, but the links does not show on the bottom left.

    The "close enough" is pretty close, within 3-4 miles to the actual location of the computer. This is a desktop PC with Ethernet connection only, no wireless.

    Doing the same search in Firefox, results in this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ff weather.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	196.5 KB 
ID:	25915

    There's no link to the forecast.io site in the search results. Copy/pasting the Forecast link into Firefox pups up a windows, asking if I'd want to share the location of my computer with forecast.io site. After declining the offer, the site displays the forecast in a different state about 60 miles away from my computer.

    Couple of questions...

    How does Edge get to display the forecast.io as the first search result with GPS coordinates of my computer? And yes, I am aware that this site has apps for all major portable devices, including windows. That does not explain the different search results in the two browsers with the same search engine.

    Why doesn't Edge block access to location when it is specified not to share it? Maybe there's a configuration in Edge and/or Windows that I've missed; it's possible, but doubtful...
    Last edited by Cr00zng; 25 Jul 2015 at 21:33. Reason: Wrong links
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    28 Jul 2015 #2
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Portsmouth Hampshire
    Posts : 1,888
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240

    The WWW consortium has a Geolocation API - here's the specification: Geolocation API Specification
    Here's an excerpt:

    "The Geolocation API defines a high-level interface to location information associated only with the device hosting the implementation, such as latitude and longitude. The API itself is agnostic of the underlying location information sources. Common sources of location information include Global Positioning System (GPS) and location inferred from network signals such as IP address, RFID, WiFi and Bluetooth MAC addresses, and GSM/CDMA cell IDs, as well as user input. No guarantee is given that the API returns the device's actual location."

    I had a discussion a little while back with BunnyJ starting here: Solved How to activate WIn10 Build 10240 CLean Install - Page 3 - Windows 10 Forums
    continued here:
    Solved How to activate WIn10 Build 10240 CLean Install - Page 4 - Windows 10 Forums
    here:
    Solved How to activate WIn10 Build 10240 CLean Install - Page 4 - Windows 10 Forums
    and here:
    Solved How to activate WIn10 Build 10240 CLean Install - Page 4 - Windows 10 Forums

    User input:
    So if you have ever disclosed Postal address or code or telephone numbers (did you ever use a dial-up modem or Fax on your PC at this location?) or ADSL or cable modem, or your ISP has a street cabinet distribution box nearby, your IP address (and IP address history) may may locate you to from within a few hundred metres to spot on your actual location.

    Otherwise IP address may take your location only as near as the ISP router that serves your actual IP address, and every webpage you visit can see that, and locate you perhaps to 60-odd miles away from your home at your ISPs server farm.
    Speedtest and ISP enquiries sites identify your current ISP, and may garner your postal code and/or telephone number to identify eligibility for transfer to their services, and to offer customised, better deals than the plan you are using already.

    GPS from handhelds and mobiles, Wifi and Bluetooth MAC mapping, streaming video to tv, online console gaming, mobile cellphone triangulation to nearby masts can locate your IP address within metres.

    Then there is your timezone and country, language spoken. for a much more general location.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    28 Jul 2015 #3
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 149
    Windows 10 64-bits
    Thread Starter

    @Fafhrd.. This PC with W10 only had cable modem connection. Your explanation is plausible, but...

    Edge and Firefox return different search results for "weather", using DDG search engine. This certainly means that the forecast.io link did not originate from DDG.

    That leaves Windows 10 and Edge with the Bing integrated search engine that inserted the forecast.io link. Not only it inserted the link in to DDG search results, it also customized the link to my IP location. And that's despite disabling sharing the system/browser IP location.

    It's a "feature" that can be useful for some, but... It might not be far fetch that the organic looking forecast.io link is actually a paid ad by forecast.io...

    This is how Firefox handles location request, quote from my first port:

    There's no link to the forecast.io site in the search results. Copy/pasting the Forecast link into Firefox pups up a windows, asking if I'd want to share the location of my computer with forecast.io site. After declining the offer, the site displays the forecast in a different state about 60 miles away from my computer.
    Last edited by Cr00zng; 28 Jul 2015 at 06:53. Reason: Firefox location request handling...
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    28 Jul 2015 #4
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Portsmouth Hampshire
    Posts : 1,888
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240

    If you do a speedtest, OOKLA for instance it sees your IP, and reverse lookups to find your ISP - That's the nearest it can get, unless your ISP leaks other info or you have done in the past and google, or MS or Amazon or a multitude of commercial sites may have shared info such as history. Do you have any devices with wireless adapters, mobile, router or smart TV, laptop etc. at all? are they all locked down or can they be stumbled? Do they ever connect to your internet?

    It's not your Browser, it is your IP address that there is a database linked to.

    From 7forums:
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Views:	5 
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ID:	26271
    and
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	26273
    Last edited by Fafhrd; 28 Jul 2015 at 07:23.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    28 Jul 2015 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 149
    Windows 10 64-bits
    Thread Starter

    You're trying hard Fafhrd...

    Yes, most sites can easily find the name of the ISP for the IP address. That does not result in a close proximity to the actual location of the system, it's a simple ARIN WHOIS IP lookup.

    I've done number of GeoIP lookups at different sites with my system's public IP and all of them show location in other states, about 60 miles away.

    Even if you have valid points, they still don't explain why Edge shows different search results from Firefox? The most likely explanation to me is that Windows 10/Edge via Bing, or on their own, have more accurate location information and modify the search result to be displayed on the fly. And that despite setting the disable location sharing flag in W10 and Edge.

    And again, this does not happen with Firefox, even if the actual link to the forecast site entered in to the URL. In Firefox, when the location sharing is disable, it is disabled...
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    28 Jul 2015 #6
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Portsmouth Hampshire
    Posts : 1,888
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240

    I guess you have a Microsoft account and a cellphone? Do you ever use that feature so that Microsoft can verify that it's you online by getting you to allow an action on your cell?
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    28 Jul 2015 #7
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 149
    Windows 10 64-bits
    Thread Starter

    I do have a Windows 8 phone and an MS account, but what does it have to do with this?

    Shouldn't disabling the system/browser location sharing apply to Microsoft as well?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    28 Jul 2015 #8
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Portsmouth Hampshire
    Posts : 1,888
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240

    You seem to be in denial. In windows\System32 there is a geolocation.dll , and a geolocatorhelper.dll and a geocommon.dll.

    The W3C Geolocation API permits " location information associated only with the device hosting the implementation, such as latitude and longitude. The API itself is agnostic of the underlying location information sources. Common sources of location information include Global Positioning System (GPS) and location inferred from network signals such as IP address, RFID, WiFi and Bluetooth MAC addresses, and GSM/CDMA cell IDs, as well as user input. No guarantee is given that the API returns the device's actual location."

    Microsoft has a database(s) with your MSA, IP addresses, Machine code hashes of your PCs, Your Cellphone number, MAC, IP and GPS, your Microsoft products and licenses and certainly much more. Google and Apple have similar Information through their own systems and devices. Your devices have some access to this Data if you permit it and you allow it to be passed on to third parties like Firefox thus:

    https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Geolocation/Using_geolocation

    and

    GPSd Put your GPS on the net!



    Of course your US and my UK Intelligence services tap into all of this, and even may share limited amounts of information

    It does not surprise me that MS Edge is leaky It certainly has memory leaks!
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  9.    28 Jul 2015 #9
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    For me, both FF and Edge show the same weather page in your first picture (with location) (and IE for that matter).

    If you notice, the url's are not the same. Try copying the first URL into FF.

    As for your location, this information is taken from your IP address, which there are vast databases that contain IP address blocks. For instance, my IP seems to be in the database as being located in Augusta, GA but i'm in Minnesota. So there is nothing nefarious going on.
    Last edited by Mystere; 28 Jul 2015 at 10:41.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    28 Jul 2015 #10
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 149
    Windows 10 64-bits
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Fafhrd View Post
    You seem to be in denial. In windows\System32 there is a geolocation.dll , and a geolocatorhelper.dll and a geocommon.dll.
    It does little good having these DLLs, if the system has no GPS. On my Windows phone, GPS is only enabled when I am in NYC or on the road, not around my computer. But I don't argue the fact that somewhere along the line, MS has recorded a close enough GPS coordinates for my system

    Quote Originally Posted by Fafhrd View Post
    It does not surprise me that MS Edge is leaky It certainly has memory leaks!


    It's not just leaky, despite the settings; evidently the setting does not apply to Microsoft. It's also changing the search result of duckduckgo.com based on the record that they've compiled about me/my system. In the meantime, Firefox honors your privacy settings as it should...
    Last edited by Cr00zng; 28 Jul 2015 at 10:40. Reason: Clarification...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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