Anonymous HTML5 Geolocation

There are databases of IP address ranges and which country or city they belong to. If you were to upload these to SAFE and make an index to be able to query them quickly, it would be possible to make a function that takes your IP address and does an anonymous query to find you country or city.

Should this be implemented in the SAFE Browser for enabling the HTML 5 location API on desktop computers? On mobiles the HTML 5 Geolocation API uses GPS. Firefox and Chrome on desktop send your IP address to Google Location Services if you click approve when a website asks to get access to your location. On SAFE this API could replace the Google servers with the SAFE Network to allow getting your approximate location without revealing your IP address. I suppose you could also prevent the app developer from storing your location somewhere where they have read access so that the app could use your location only locally in the app.


This is likely to be the hardest to enforce.

You could setup a database in MD objects that the APP accesses to use the IP address as an index. So real quick and does not reveal your IP address or even that location lookup was done by anything other than the APP itself. But to then stop the APP somehow storing that info is the hard part.

Who pays to setup the MD database of locations is another issue. Maybe if we had pay-the-uploader(producer) and it included MDs then that might pay for someone to keep the database up to date.

As I understand it now, an app can store data with the users account basically (if the user approves), so that only the user will be able to retrieve it, but it can also be given write access to write data to other places, for example the app developer’s account, I’m not 100% on this yet though.

Being able to write data to different MDs would be needed for many use cases. However, it would also allow for tracking users. An app could be given the right to append data to a third party tracking MD, couldn’t it? So that it could potentially write any action that a user does to that MD. The solution would be to ask the user permission for this and make the potential consequences very clear.

In any case, at least the app would never know the user’s IP address, only the browser would, the app itself would only get the location from the HTML5 API calls.

Perhaps MaidSafe could do this?