On 14 November 2011 15:18, Andrew Owens <orderinchao...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I received a complaint today from someone who received a geonotice regarding
> the Perth events. Aside from the fact that the geonotice contains a glaring
> error, it's raising questions about privacy on Wikipedia. The last thing we
> need people to think is that we're some sort of Big Brother establishment
> spying on people. As the person raising the issue with me stated, "I have a
> login for privacy. How the hell does it know that I'm in Australia/Perth??"

I think there needs to be some general knowledge in the internet
community about who knows what. A web server knows where you come from
based on widely distributed IP-to-Location databases. If you allow
your browser to contact a server, it will know where you are, whether
you login or not, unless you always use IP-Address-Randomisation
methods such as Tor.

I do agree that we shouldn't publicise the knowledge about their
location with them, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. The
less people know about these issues, the less they can worry. The
underlying issue is far too broad for any typical internet user to

In many ways it would be good to reverse the impression that people
have about logging into Wikipedia being more anonymous than not
logging in.

Even if you use RequestPolicy+Private Browsing(etc.......) you will
still have long term privacy issues if you login to any websites.
Anyone heard of evercookie? It is still simultaneously the best
software engineering project and scariest privacy issue I have ever

Non-logged-in users are harder to track than logged-in users from the
servers point of view, even if you use evercookie-like-methods. If
they login, they are giving a server an imprint to base future cookies
off, whereas they could conceivably stay reasonably anonymous on a
high-traffic website if they stay unlogged in and rely on something
like Tor for IP-address (ie., Location) randomisation.


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