Don't look now, but Google is following you

Location tracking tools are everywhere -- like in Google's Chrome 5 browser. But not all of them can be trusted.

By  

"iGoogle gadgets can change / spoof their titles, or even make misleading ones.  Someone could write a bad gadget and title it "Good Gadget" or "Gmail" or something else that you trust to try to trick you into revealing your location.  The gadget could even re-write its title very quickly to pretend to be a different gadget on your iGoogle page.

Gadgets & sites in general cannot spoof their URL.  So you always know that when you see that message bar, the URL that shows there is really the URL of the site/gadget asking for your location."

So if I am reading that response correctly, it means gadgets showing up your iGoogle home page cannot be trusted. If they can be spoofed, presumably they can also be used to capture your personal information -- your Google log-ons, Gmail, Google Calendar, and of course, your physical location. A perfect one-stop tool for stalkers, spearphishers, and cat burglars. Nice.

I don't know who gwilson is. I don't even know for sure he's a Google employee. He's not an official spokesperson and, of course, he could be dead wrong. But reading that little bit of info he casually tossed off certainly put a chill in my day.

So now I'm given a choice between an incomprehensible URL I don't trust or the name of a Google gadget I now no longer trust. I think the only reasonable answer for the time being is to say no, thank you, I don't want you to track my location.

You of course might feel differently. But before you blithely just say yes, I urge you to ask: What exactly is in it for me? I know what benefits location tracking can bring to service providers (and their advertisers), but what benefits does location tracking bring to me? If you don't have a good answer to that one, I'd strongly suggest you decline.

ITworld TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan doesn't even know where he is all of the time, but you can usually find him making sophomoric jokes at eSarcasm and on Twitter: @tynan_on_tech.

 

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Answers - Powered by ITworld

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question