Daily News for Every Age

New Vytal Chrome extension helps conceal location data

Advertisement

Vytal, a new Google Chrome browser extension, prevents webpages from using programming APIs to determine your geographic location, even when using a VPN. Many people use VPNs to conceal their location or connect to a different country while surfing the web.

While a VPN will conceal your device’s IP address and thus your physical location, you can use JavaScript functions to query information directly from a web browser to determine a visitor’s general geographic location.

Advertisement

z0ccc created the https://vytal.io website to demonstrate how JavaScript can be used to reveal a visitor’s location information.

It displays the type of information that can be obtained directly from a visitor’s computer, even if they are using a VPN.

When this author connected to a VPN server in London, for example, the Vytal.io site was still able to retrieve my device’s correct time zone, locale, and time, providing a general location of where I am.

After installing the extension, you can choose from a list of pre-populated locations, modify data to match your IP address, or add a Custom location.

Users should keep in mind that after selecting ‘Match IP’ and connecting to a new VPN server, you must click the ‘Reload’ button to populate the extension with the new spoofed geographic location data.

While this extension should work on all Chromium browsers, including Brave Browser, it cannot be ported to Mozilla Firefox because the debugger API is not supported by the browser.