I was annoyed to see the following message:
Google demanded the right to use my location with Google Plus, otherwise it would not let me sign in. But what if you want to use Google Plus without sharing your location with the world? Since Google Plus works fine on desktop PCs without location information, why should you not use it on an iPad in the same way?
You will notice a couple of things about this test page. One is that it will ask your consent before attempting to retrieve your location. Another is that on a home broadband connection, it is rather inaccurate. According to Internet Explorer 9 I am in Berkhamsted – do not try and visit me there though, I am nowhere near.
However, if you try this on an iPad or other mobile device, you will likely get much better results. If I use the iPad, even on home wifi, it shows my house dead centre of the map.
That is only if you give consent though. Since Google + is a web application, this consent is determined by Safari, irrespective of what terms and conditions you agreed with Google. If it bothers you, you can even go to settings – location services and disable them for Safari completely:
That said, Google could add some code that tried to retrieve your location and would not let you use Google+ if access is denied – but it has not done so. In fact, so far the only time I have seen Safari prompt for consent in Google+ is when making a post:
If you agree, this allows Google+ to geotag your post.
I am sure there are other ways Google plans to use your location in Google+. For the moment though, if you would rather maintain location privacy Google+ still allows you do to do so.
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