Virtualization Technology News and Information
Surfshark becomes the first VPN to offer an in-built GPS spoofing feature
To help people protect their digital security, privacy protection company Surfshark introduced GPS spoofing feature for Android devices. The optional feature allows its users to shield their online presence from unsolicited tracking by not only changing their IP address, but also device's physical GPS location. It is the first time a VPN provider launches a location spoofing feature that does not require using additional third-party apps. 

"Most mobile apps fetch location data from device's GPS to track their users for various purposes. Sometimes providing access to device's GPS is a condition to use the app. In many cases, users do not even know that some apps track them everywhere they go. Naturally, our location data can be exploited," says Naomi Hodges, Cybersecurity advisor at Surfshark. "For privacy conscious people we developed a GPS spoofing solution that can enable them to take back control of their privacy, and in this case, exercise their right to keep their physical location information only to themselves".

All web browsers have default access to user's IP address, but it can be masked by using a VPN service. However, the vast majority of mobile apps use GPS location data for user tracking instead of IP address. With Surfshark's new solution, the physical location data might be changed by maneuvering.

Surfshark users now have an option to virtually change their actual GPS location by connecting to one of the VPN server locations. When the GPS spoofing feature is activated, any app's request to access user's physical coordinates will be overridden by the coordinates of the selected VPN server. In such case, a web service that wants to access user's GPS data will see that the user is, for example, in the US instead of its real location, the UK.

"Primary purpose of the GPS spoofing functionality is to provide its user with an ability to control its digital presence and prevent unsolicited exploitation of their location data for marketing and other purposes,'' says Naomi Hodges.

GPS spoofing feature is the newest addition to Surfshark's privacy protection toolkit, which includes a malware, ad and tracker blocker CleanWeb, a data breach alert system HackLock, a private and ad-free search tool BlindSearch, and a free DNS resolver TrustDNS.
Published Tuesday, December 17, 2019 9:09 AM by David Marshall
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