Sometimes users wish to keep their location private when searching online. Some even hate when Google suggests nearby restaurants or places to hang out. There is an app which can help us all hide our location when online.
A new app is here to save us all
Thanks to computer engineers from Binghamton University in the U.S a new app will soon be released to help us encrypt our location during an online search. This app will encrypt the location for third party services which have the ability of detection where the users are at.
To hide the user’s location, the app uses public key encryption or PGP and whenever the user searches on Google, an encrypted form is sent to the service provider. Third-parties are able to see the user’s request but not the location.
Assistant Professor at Binghamton University, Linke Guo, the service provider is unable to decrypt the location thanks to this app. The prototype was started back in 2015 and it still needs improvements.
A major drawback is the fact that even with this app installed Facebook can still track your location when using it. The team hopes that the service providers will be nice enough and agree to include this privacy tool in their apps.
If a couple of years ago privacy was not an important issue for most, nowadays people take their time and read privacy agreements before downloading any app.
Another option is for location-based providers to enable this app and give users the possibility of hiding their location. Researchers also hope to share the app for free for Android on Google Play Store.
Some speculate that in a couple of years big providers such as Google or Facebook will have to agree with not sharing the locations for business profit, due to the high interest this issue is gaining. In fact, many people are already leaving social media websites due to privacy leakages.
Social media privacy is a hot topic due to the fact that many people suffered privacy leakages and the information was used illegally. Many also find the photos they share on another user’s profile or their personal information on another account on what could be considered identity theft. It is definitely not pleasing when someone else is using your image or when people try to get their hands on your personal information.
There is still time left until the app will be perfect and released. It is also possible that in the future it will need more funding to finish this project.