New Internet system tracks your location down to 690 meters

  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

According to this NewScientist article:

Quote:
Online adverts could soon start stalking you. A new way of working out where you are by looking at your internet connection could pin down your current location to within a few hundred metres.

Similar techniques are already in use, but they are much less accurate. Every computer connected to the web has an internet protocol (IP) address, but there is no simple way to map this to a physical location. The current best system can be out by as much as 35 kilometres.


Yong Wang from China has found a way to use businesses and universities as landmarks to much more accurately pinpoint your location on the Internet. Many of these organizations have their server IP addresses tied to their physical location. So first Wang used Google Maps to provide them with the locations of around 76,000 landmarks. The new method then goes through three stages to pinpoint where you are located:

Stage One


This first stage measures the time it takes to send a data packet to your computer and converts that to a distance which can get your location down to around 200 kilometers.

Stage Two


The second stage then sends data packets to every landmark area that they had indexed in your 200 kilometer area to find out which routers they pass through. They compare the routers to the routers your connection uses and notes each landmark that uses the same routers. At this point they will then compare how long a packet takes to reach each machine from the router which they can convert into an estimated distance. By using this information they can shrink the area down on where you are potentially located.

Stage Three


In this final third stage they will then repeat the landmark search and find which landmark is closest to your computer by comparing packet delay times. They claim on average this can get your location down to 690 meters which is accurate enough to get your location down to a few streets. Sometimes their method can get your location down to 100 meters!

Normally to get this sort of accuracy it would require you to deliberately disclose your location, but this method can find your location without your permission. The only way around this would be to use some sort of proxy server. If you are concerned about your privacy, this is scary news!
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've tracked people right to their door, many times, for years. An IP address & a location within 100 meters, doesn't give them your ID. Other info is needed to actually identify a user.
  • assneck
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Oh man this is scary. I hate being tracked. I already wear a special hat so the government can't read my brainwaves....

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assneck
  • goldensun
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Given the problems with latency I would be surprised that this can work at all.
Also many phones already have GPS in them, I would assume that soon enough all will have this and it will be auto enabled, so that advertisers can then target you to their hearts content.
  • HIG-Jerry
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hmmm, sounds pretty interesting but I'd have to see it to believe the accuracy.
  • WritingBadCode
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Post 3+ Months Ago

690 meters doesn't sound that accurate as long as your not living a "town" with 10 people.
  • Satwant
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The way to reach a physical machine looks instructing. I dont know how is work against Proxy.
  • Liu Yan
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It's not so important, but I think that the name of the Chinese is Wang Yong (the family name is before the given one. And "Wang" is one of the most popular family names in China. Means "king").

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