A partial archive of discourse.wicg.io as of Saturday February 24, 2024.

Fuzzy geolocation: improve privacy and security


In my presentation on Fuzzy geolocation in the context of privacy/security, I invited everyone to respond to this concept and share ideas. I hope we can explore that further during this workshop. So please feel free to respond to this topic.

What are your ideas about privacy and security risks (when sending the user’s precise geolocation / area of interest to third-party services)? What do you think of the proposed approach to add fuzziness? Do you have other ideas and/or views to share? Or what kind of (new) issues could be introduced by this approach?

Let’s discuss that here.

Geonovum will also use this topic to give updates on a proof of concept we are going to develop that illustrates the concept.


Video of the Thijs’ talk at the Maps for the Web workshop is now up

Here are some comments from workshop participants who watched it live:

  • Peter Rushforth @prushforth: @thijsbrentjens private mode map browsing is a vital necessity for a public Web imho

  • SebastienDurand @SebastienDurand: There was a lot of applications that was created under COVID in Canada that were never published because there was a lack in confidence on the process used to ensure geolocation privacy, this is indeed a requirements and a concern and was found to be a bottleneck in the COVID response and monitoring

  • SebastienDurand @SebastienDurand: What is the path @thjsbrentjens recommends to see this done? Should there be an OGC geolocation privacy/fuzzy api?

  • Peter Rushforth @prushforth: @thijsbrentjens A “user” agent should provide a private map browsing mode!

  • Bryan Haberberger @thehabes: I like how this lives in the realm of computer ethics too. Fuzzy location to alleviate some ethical concerns.

  • вкαя∂εℓℓ @briankardell: it feels like this could be more easily specified for a larger element than at another level? The UA can moderate the delta between granularity


PS, Thijs: are you able to edit to add the web mapping tag as well, so it shows up there, in addition to in the security category?


Hi @AmeliaBR , good idea (sorry I didn’t do that right away), but I can’t find where to edit an existing topic. Do you know where to find that?


There should be a pencil icon at the bottom of your post. I was able to edit one of mine to add the correct category later, although I’m not sure if it’s possible to add multiple categories.


This talk opened my eyes to some of the privacy concerns, thank you for the concise explanation. I was wondering if anyone had ideas for fuzzy geolocation in combination with things like (gazetteer) search, as it seems like privacy is also necessary in this regard.