You may not realize it but when you are using the internet, whether it be on a home computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone, geolocation technology is working in the background. To put it simply, geolocation is the geographical location of a device that is connect to the Internet. It uses longitude and latitude to work out the location of the device.
If you own an iPhone, you may have the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature switched on and also use other iPhone tracker application. So, if you were to misplace the device, you can find out exactly where you left the phone. This is a good example of geolocation technology at work. And it will lead you to the location of your device.
Your Digital Thumbprint:
An Internet Protocol address is use to find the location of a device. Like as a laptop or a computer. It will never give out information like as your address or identity. But it can inform a user of roughly where you are, usually within a few miles. IP addresses use geolocation technology and in terms of IP addresses, companies can use databases, such as the Regional Internet Registries. For example, the RIR for North America is called the American Registry for Internet Numbers and this can be used in many ways.
A good example is online gambling. Now the responsibility sits with each individual state in terms of the legality of online betting in the United States. This means geolocation technology has become hugely important to regulate the industry. Legal online casinos in Pennsylvania are available to those residing in the state of Pennsylvania, which is great. However, what if someone from outside Pennsylvania tried to use one of the gambling websites to place a bet?
Playing within the State Lines:
When loading up the website of some online betting companies, you may be ask to click on your location. For those who live in a state where online gambling is still prohibited, you may be tempted to try clicking on a state where it is legally allowed, such as Pennsylvania. However, by using geolocation technology. The website knows where you based and you will be blocked from entering the website. This prevents any illegal betting activity and protects both the user and the gambling operator from any potential legal disputes.
There are two main forms of geolocation technology. Device-based data collection that relies on GPS and cellular networks. Server-base data collection, which is link to your device’s IP address. As device-based data collection uses GPS and cellular networks. It works best where there is a large number of people, such as a city. Therefore, this would not be as effective in rural areas, with a small number of people spread across a large area. Server-base data collection, on the other hand, is information store base on the location of a device via a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection. This is the information often sold by third-party services and you will often see a pop-up window when you enter a website explaining how the data is being used.
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