Date of this Version

April 2005

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Geo-identification – Now They Know Where You Live, Privacy Law & Policy Reporter, Vol. 11 No 6 (April 2005); pp. 171 – 174
Published in ©Privacy Law & Policy Reporter
Access the Journal online

This article is based on a longer and more detailed article ’Geo-location technologies and other means of placing borders on the ‘borderless’ Internet’, published in the John Marshall Journal of Computer & Information Law.


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 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.



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