Localization services off, apps get my position

Hi, I've installed Zorin 16 Core on a laptop (it's not on a live boot usb key). If I look into Settings > Privacy the localization services are off. If I open Maps, or Meteo, the apps get my exact location, nor just a range. I think it's a major issue. May someone please tell me why apps get my location while the settings should prevent it? Thanks!

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As far as I know that is part of the Gnome desktop environment, which is what Zorin Core uses. I'm not sure if it's an intended feature or some unfixed bug, but it's definitely been reported and discussed. I have not yet seen any definite solution to this but here's a threat that talks a little bit about this, from the Zorin developers themselves:


Your I.P, your gps or your nearby device location. All contribute in detailing your exact location. It depends on what map service you are using. Turning off a feature does not guarantee privacy.


If I open up maps there is no pin on the map showing my exact location, just the map of the city opens. This is on Google maps, on Bing Maps I get two cities, but once again no pin showing my "exact" location. Even mapquest just showed the city and gave no indication of knowing my "exact" location and address.

You see your city because no matter what you shut off as far as location, you're still using an IP, which has a city assigned to it. If I turn on a VPN, the maps will pull up a city map of that location.

Furthermore, if you use Google and have ever told them where you live they save that information and it will be shown to you repeatedly. Or if you clicked allow in the browser to send location information, it will be saved until you revoke such.

It's not a major issue and there is nothing Zorin nor Gnome can do about it. This has been known for decades that your IP will filter down and be used by companies.

There is no such thing as 100% privacy if you're on the internet, it's a unicorn people chase. If it were possible people wouldn't get caught committing hacking crimes.


You need to be using a VPN. Find a good payed for one. I use PIA.

A Lot more is needed than a VPN😉

Hi, thanks for all replies. i don't need privacy and I was not using Goggle Maps, I was just using Zorin's preinstalled apps for meteo and maps, no browser. So it seems strange to me that preinstalled apps' behavior is the opposite of the general setting.
IP usually gives a range, not an exact location, and that seems strange too. Anyway is not a problem for me. Bye!

By exact location are saying that if you are in your house it tunnels down to the street and house? I know that if I use the find my device on Apple, they will actually show what end of the house and room the iPhone is in.

I have never had my exact location shown by a PC, web site, etc. other than Apple. It will generally show the city I am in but certainly not down to the house level.

Unless you are hacking, and if that were the case you would not have made your original post :grinning: ...you have more to fear from your cell phone and the APPs on it.

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Ok, that's strange... I just re-opened Zorin's Meteo and Maps, and now it's just as I expected: not my position, but a near city. And yes, I was saying that when I wrote my original post I was in my house, and it tunneled down exactly as Apple does. :thinking: :woman_shrugging:

Dang...never had an OS tunnel down to my house, well at least it never let me know if it did. Any chance your cell phone is attached to the OS as a hotspot or similar? Maybe exact location is coming from a cellphone or WIFI signal?

Uhm, I have a SIM into the router (no fiber or ADSL here), and a wi-fi repeater wired to the router... in other words: SIM into the router -> wi-fi repeater used as access point -> my laptop. Maybe something messed up?

Your repeater/router may be betraying you. :astonished: Here is a link I found with a quick search...it is a basic overview but good information. Of course, it may not apply in your situation.

Wi-Fi Geo Location

I have no WIFI enabled at my house, yet my IP and net provider betrays me everytime, at least at the city level. :slight_smile: If you have a social media account and ever made a purchase via them, where your mailing address was needed...you can almost bet, they use this info as well.

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I should add this as well, you may want to turn off WebRTC in your browser. WebRTC will very often leak your IP to others.

If you are using a Mozilla browser and would like to have a sobering look at how many other servers/users/aggregates are seeing you IP and where you have been then install (if it is still available) an extension named Firefox Lightbeam.

WebRTC information

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Thank you for all the info, I'll look into all of them!

It's much worse then you think.

Google and facebook are listening to your voice when you use their app on your smartphone. Long time ago i talked a few times with my girlfriend about kids and pregnancy. Within an hour facebook gaved us alot of ads about pregnancy and google did the same. Some time ago i also talked about other thinks like buying a new car os such....for both companies i got ads about buying new cars.

I removed their apps instantly from my phone and never installed them again.


I had a similar experience having a talk (vocally) about Space and Light and Vacuum of space.
Suddenly began getting ads telling me Dyson Vacuums were on sale and such.

Any bonafide spy knows: Context is important.

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I refuse to own any thing like Alexa or televisions that monitors my presence or words. Even Ring got into trouble for its technicians monitoring the video/audio from the camera. I believe the same happened to Amazon. People are freaking nuts for using any of that stuff. I even have SIRI turned off on my iPhone 7 Plus.

I will say this...even with your cell phone turned off, conversations in the room can still be monitored by authorities or individuals that have the ability to do so. You have to remove the battery (near impossible on most models) or put the phone in a Faraday type cage or metal box. Even another room.

This statement is surprisingly true.
It has to do with how the phone is built and programmed. Given a wide range mic and it being always active in case you say "Hey Google" or "Hey Siri".

These days, many phones offer background noise cancelling as a feature. Which severely impairs monitoring ability. Background monitoring for advertising purposes is labor and resource extensive, expensive and not lucrative. It's a lot easier and cheaper to use a General Market Ad. There really isn't much payoff in using that method to determine if consumers prefer corn flakes or frosted flakes. The expense of the above method would vastly overwhelm any profits gained by figuring it out.
Can a cell phone be cracked so that the active mic can monitor a background conversation? Yes. But it's not easy (which is an understatement). Features like powersave, background noise cancel, call assist, port connecting, eh it's a long list... must all be disabled, first. Then, code must be injected in that provides a means of sorting (algorithms) and relaying what is overheard.
While it is technically possible that a Cell Phone can be used as a spy device... It is exceptionally difficult to do, expensive and unreliable.
Otherwise, nations would have access to all sorts of military and political motions.

So, while technically true - it is also not something to have a major concern about for the average person.

Well...it is very straight forward to install a routine/hook to be able to silently/no lights, turn the phone on via OTA signal. Phone looks off but everything spoken in the room is heard by "someone". The phone behaves like a baby monitor, with unfiltered sound.

You need privacy
We all need privacy

Use the following website to test your browser to see how much personal information it leaks.

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