|U.S. F.T.C. Ends Investigation Into Google's Street View|
U.S. F.T.C. Ends Investigation Into Google's Street View [latimesblogs.latimes.com]
|Ending a major battle over its collection of data over unsecured wireless networks while operating a fleet of vehicles for its Street View mapping service, Google received a letter from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it had closed its investigation after the Internet giant pledged to strengthen privacy controls. |
The agency also said the Mountain View, Calif., company agreed not to use the data it says it inadvertently collected, according to a letter from David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, to Albert Gidari, a Google attorney.
Google will not face any fines in the U.S. but is still subject to investigations elsewhere in the world.
|Google will not face any fines in the U.S. |
Of course not, too many agencies interested in what it collects (inadvertently or otherwise)
If people broadcast insecure data it's fair game, must not be private in the first place.
|If people broadcast insecure data it's fair game, must not be private in the first place. |
Cmon man... that's like saying its OK to walk up and inventory the contents of my car or home, simply because I didn't tint the windows and lock the doors.
I get it... secure the network. I secure my own. I still don't think its right!
|that's like saying its OK to walk up and inventory the contents of my car or home, |
Depends what you mean by OK.... legally is it ok if your car is parked in public for me to look in and notice the contents.... I think that it is legally ok... if I do that to every car I can find I still think I am legally ok.
However there is still the morally "ok"... is it morally ok to go and snoop on people like that and record it all? I would say no... I would even say it is sleazy if you plan to profit from this info by selling it, but maybe not in all circumstances.
What it really comes down to is what you do with the data.
For example I would find it less sleazy if someone was peering into cars to record data on how many people use automatic vs a stick shift, even less sleazy if they were hired by a group doing research on car accidents.
I understand thinking what Google did as being sleazy, I think it is, but until they do something with the data that is offensive then that is all it is... sleazy.
|I get it... secure the network. I secure my own. |
And if the outcome of this publicity is that more people secure their networks then I would say that this was a good way for people to learn a lesson without their data being used in a harmful manner (I hope)
|I think that it is legally ok |
I agree, and recall reading something similar somewhere in the past, where, when you put yourself into the public domain, you forfeit some of your own privacy rights. Like going to a beach and complaining that the guys/girls are ogling you in a swimsuit. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place.
I really do get the idea that what they did/do is not illegal, but I feel it pushes the gray area of a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Nobody needs to tell me that if I leave the blinds open, I might be seen walking around in my underwear, but where I live, its against the law for them to bust out the binoculars and watch me from the street, since I have a reasonable expectation of privacy in my own home.
|but until they do something with the data that is offensive |
Its the INTENT that bothers me. WHY do they even need info about mine or my neighbors home network? If its for commercial gain, which it likely was... then they should have to pay for it.
Whatever happened to "Opt-In"?
|Nobody needs to tell me that if I leave the blinds open, I might be seen walking around in my underwear, but where I live, its against the law for them to bust out the binoculars and watch me from the street, since I have a reasonable expectation of privacy in my own home. |
Agreed, most places however have said that if you are on public property then you have the right to look at anything you can see from public property.. which in a free world makes sense.
The fact is we live on this planet with millions of other people. We have rights to privacy but we have to take extra steps in our lives (encrypting networks, drawing the blinds) to obtain that privacy. It doesn't happen by default.
|Whatever happened to "Opt-In"? |
Well I think when you broadcast your info onto the PUBLIC airwaves and you don't encrypt it then I would say you opted in to have your data available to anyone willing to "listen in"
I agree intent is a main point, according to them they had no intentions of doing this though. I am not saying I take them 100% at their word but really if they were trying to hide it they didn't try hard.
|It doesn't happen by default. |
Agree completely... This probably didn't effect too many tech-savvy people anyhow, most know how to secure their systems.
|Cmon man... that's like saying its OK to walk up and inventory the contents of my car or home, simply because I didn't tint the windows and lock the doors. |
Actually, it's more like complaining about the people standing in middle of the street taking pictures of you washing the windows naked with the curtains wide open.
Google schmoogle, any idiot with a smartphone or netbook cruising down the street can do the same thing and you would never know it and those are the guys that do really bad things.
So yes, I think this happening was a very good thing to make people aware.
According to my wifi analyzer, the 9 networks near me in my condo are now all secured with WEP and use passwords.
Sadly, the next major wifi 'event' needs to occur so people are aware they need WPA instead of WEP which is easily cracked [aircrack-ng.org], not that WPA can't be compromised as well.
Truth is, everyone should be using a VPN as standard issue from the service provider and we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.