Google chrome keeps giving out my location to websites. Disabling Location Services does not help. I may have to physically disconnect the GPS unit, but before I void AppleCare I would like to attempt doing it by software.

Now, as mentioned above disabling Location Services does not help, but I do believe I can prevent the kernel from accessing the GPS unit.

How do I do this?

Hardware Overview:

  Model Name:             MacBook Pro
  Model Identifier:       MacBookPro11,5
  Processor Name:         Intel Core i7
  Processor Speed:        2.5 GHz
  Number of Processors:   1
  Total Number of Cores:  4
  L2 Cache (per Core):    256 KB
  L3 Cache:               6 MB
  Memory:                 16 GB
  Boot ROM Version:       MBP114.0172.B09
  SMC Version (system):   2.30f2
  Serial Number (system): Nope
  Hardware UUID:          47CB9895-6003-5C8C-A4E7-82815470B4EB

Your laptop does not have a GPS receiver so there is nothing to disconnect (phones do have a GPS chip).

Your location is determined by a couple of methods:

  • a database of wifi access points. Those locations are in turn determined when a device with GPS accesses the same wifi. This can be accurate down to the building.
  • geolocating your IP address. Usually accurate to the neighbourhood level, occasionally down to the building.

You can block the first one by turning off location services and/or changing your wifi access point (meaning you buy a brand new one, and then never use it with a phone).

You cannot block the second one. The website needs your IP address in order to reply to you, and if it has your IP address it can get your location.

Try a VPN service. Your IP will then be Somewhere Else. This will break searches like "Find near here".

| improve this answer | |
  • That's exactly the problem. Even with VPN, the website was able to determine my exact location. – Dev Jan 20 '17 at 1:42
  • Then your VPN leaks. – Tetsujin Jan 20 '17 at 20:24

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