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Symantec Employee
JoeK
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎09-07-2011

Location Accuracy

Hi everyone-

 

This is Joe Keehnast and I am the product manager on Norton Anti-Theft. One of the things in the product that we are constantly monitoring and want to improve where we can is the location accuracy of the product. How well is the product locating you? Do you find differences in accuracy in different locations?

 

Let us know what your experience has been. Thanks!

 

Joe Keehnast

Senior Product Manager, Norton Anti-Theft

DistEd2
Posts: 1,965
Kudos: 413
Solutions: 81
Registered: ‎08-11-2011

Re: Location Accuracy

Hi, Joe,

 

Kudos for such a proactive approach to this! I mentioned to Erik the first day I had this installed that it was placing my device at a specific address...opposite a significant body of water from where I'd been at any point in time that day! I had this tragicomic vision of my tablet actually getting stolen, and some poor retiree sitting at home trying to enjoy a peaceful breakfast when the cops kick in the doors to recover it. So I'm not terribly impressed by the location feature--I'd much rather have the "poison pill" functionality that Norton gives me on my smartphone, so I can just wipe it clean with a kill code I can send before a would-be thief can hack it or remove the battery.

 

Note that I don't blame Norton for this: I've got several friends and family members with smartphones--as you might imagine--and every one of us has two or three places (routinely, the same places) that we regularly show up at on Google Maps that we've never been to before. I suspect (have only physically verified this for one) that they're cellphone towers. At first I thought it might correlate with whether Wi-Fi as well as 3G was active, but there's no relationship. So I just consider it to be a limitation of the technology, that Norton is going to suffer with just because you're depending on it too.

Symantec Employee
JoeK
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎09-07-2011

Re: Location Accuracy

Haha, ok. Well for your first concern, I wouldn't be too worried. If you report the location information to the police, it will absolutely be helpful in getting your device back, but they have certain protocols they have to follow to make sure they have the right person before they kick any doors down.

 

This location information is extremely helpful for you when you have lost the device. Maybe you left it at the library? Your trail of usage is on the map and you should be able to ascertain the last place where the device was pretty easily.

 

You're right in the second paragraph. We make the best effort possible to give you an accurate location but there are things that can cause it to be less accurate. For instance, if there are no Wi-Fi access points around, we will not be able to rely on those to give a location. Fortunately, there is pretty dense coverage nowadays in most cities. Hopefully you can find solace in the fact that even if in one particular moment the 100% accurate location cannot be delivered, we can still lock the device, take pictures with the Web cam and deliver a message to the person who has found it. That still goes a long way in getting your device back.

 

Does that help?

 

Joe Keehnast

Senior Product Manager, Norton Anti-Theft

DistEd2
Posts: 1,965
Kudos: 413
Solutions: 81
Registered: ‎08-11-2011

Re: Location Accuracy

Oh yeah. I'm not complaining by any means. Just saying that with the technical limits on location accuracy, the wipe feature is way more important to me. But my requirements may be atypical: ask Erik about me sometime....

Symantec Employee
JoeK
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎09-07-2011

Re: Location Accuracy

That's great to know, thanks for the feedback! That's very much in line with what our research has told us. So it's good to hear that we are probably thinking the same way in this area.

 

Joe Keehnast

Senior Product Manager, Norton Anti-Theft

PapauZ
Posts: 6,790
Topics: 391
Kudos: 1,023
Solutions: 374
Registered: ‎04-08-2008

Re: Location Accuracy

Hi Joe,

 

my laptop is always recognised ~20km away from the actual (home) location, but the city is OK :) :)

The same address was detected in the beta versions as well. This happening in Budapest, Hungary.

 

PapauZ


Windows 8.1 Embedded Industry Pro x64 Hungarian, Norton 360 v21.2.0.38

Symantec Employee
JoeK
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎09-07-2011

Re: Location Accuracy

Hi PapauZ-

 

That is very good for us to know. I may have to private message you for some additional information at some point because I was under the impression that we should have good coverage in the Budapest area.

 

Before we sell in a country, we want to know that we have substantial location coverage so fixing this will bring us one step closer to offering the product in Hungary.

 

Thanks again!

 

Joe Keehnast

Senior Product Manager, Norton Anti-Theft

PapauZ
Posts: 6,790
Topics: 391
Kudos: 1,023
Solutions: 374
Registered: ‎04-08-2008

Re: Location Accuracy

Hi Joe

 

I checked it now again, and noticed these strange things:

1. When I use the machine at the university, the location is almost 100% OK: it detects xyz street 25 instead of xyz street 45. But it is in a 2-300 meters area.

2. But at home it is still 20km away from the true location. I do not know what could cause this.... Maybe it is some wrong info from the ISP or something like this. The location NAT reports for this is a strange one as the location it writes out was one of our previous address we moved from to the current one 5 years ago. ISP is the same like there, but not under the same person's name -> totally new subscription...

 


JoeK wrote:
That is very good for us to know. I may have to private message you for some additional information at some point because I was under the impression that we should have good coverage in the Budapest area.


Just let me know in a PM what info you need, and I will send thos for you ;).

 

PapauZ


Windows 8.1 Embedded Industry Pro x64 Hungarian, Norton 360 v21.2.0.38

Contributor
blondcb
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎02-04-2011

Re: Location Accuracy

I am confused as to how NAT is determining location. Is it via GPS, Wi-Fi and/or cell tower triangulation?

 

When on the NAT website it sometimes reflects that the Device Status is ONLINE and sometimes OFFLINE.  What could be causing that to change if my GPS is always on and Google Maps gets my location perfectly using GPS. 

 

My sense is that Wi-Fi is being used because the online/offline seems to be a function of whether Wi-Fi is on or not.  I just remembered that I only have Wi-Fi on when the device is in the dock on my desk, otherwise it is off.

 

When NAT reflects that the Device Statis is ONLINE it reflects a location that is almost 3 miles away from where I am.  What would improve this?

 

Thanks

 

 

P.S. I have a Verizon Motorola Droid2 Global. 

Super Worm Eliminator
Andmike
Posts: 3,271
Registered: ‎03-23-2011

Re: Location Accuracy

Hi again blondcb,

 

As Norton Anti-Theft plug in uses the web it relies on having web access to your device.  The "locate" function you are used to in Norton Mobile Security only needed SMS access to your device.  So a phone that was on and had a signal could receive and respond to the "locate" message.  Norton Anti-Theft however seems to need a bit more than basic phone connectivity, which being a web based system is not surprising.  When Norton Anti-Theft reports your device being off line I think it means that it cannot establish web access to it at that moment.

 

I will not go into location accuracy here as I have already passed some comments on that in another forum and I am still slightly puzzled myself as to how Norton anti-theft seems to be calculating location.

 

Hope the above helps.