Vulnerabilities / Threats // Insider Threats
02:28 PM
Connect Directly

Google Adds 'Nearby' Search Option

Mobile location-based search capabilities are now available to desktop computer users.

Amid growing concern about the privacy implications of location-based services, Google on Friday introduced a way to filter search results based on the user's location.

"Starting today, we've added the ability to refine your searches with the 'Nearby' tool in the Search Options panel," explained Google product manager Jackie Bavaro in a blog post. "One of the really helpful things about this tool is that it works geographically -- not just with keywords -- so you don't have to worry about adding 'Minneapolis' to your query and missing Web pages that only say 'St. Paul' or 'Twin Cities.'"

Google's addition of a location awareness option in searches from desktop computers follows the company's introduction of a similar service for mobile devices in January.

Google users can try location-aware searches by entering a search query, clicking on the "Show options" disclosure button just below the search box, and selecting "Nearby."

Users can supply their own location or a different one.

On Wednesday, the Center for Democracy and Technology's general counsel John Morris testified at a Congressional hearing on "The Collection and Use of Location Information for Commercial Purposes" about the need to extend privacy protections to location data and related services.

Acknowledging that location-based services have real benefits, like saving money for individuals, companies, and organizations -- Washington D.C. for example, saved about $3 million in a year by using a customized version of Google Earth to track fire trucks and related assets -- Morris also expressed concern that the easy availability of location data could easily lead to abuse.

Location-based data, said Morris, "can reveal visits to potentially sensitive destinations, like medical clinics, courts, political rallies, and union meetings. The ubiquity of location information has also increased the risks of stalking and domestic violence as perpetrators are able to use (or abuse) location-based services to gain access to location information about their victims."

The CDT argues that location-based services should be exclusively opt-in and that standards for law enforcement use of location data should be clarified.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.