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Imagine if website operators could know where you are located as you access their websites. They could then make sure that the content they provided was tailored to people from your location, and provided in the language spoken where you are located. Well, geo-identification – the practice of identifying the geographical location of those who are active online – is not science fiction. Rather, as we ‘surf the net’, we are frequently identified by location already today. For example, if you visit www.google.com while in Australia, you are automatically presented with the option of going to Google’s Australian website. This handy feature is provided as a result of Google, or rather the geo-location technology employed by Google, making an educated guess as to your location.
What has been discussed so far relate to the positive sides of geo-identification. However, this practice also has very troubling effects on the Internet, and of course, massive privacy implications.