-- Google Finance, Govt, Policy and Business Issues
---- Google Street View logging MAC Addresses - And Sniffing Data
incrediBILL - 11:53 pm on May 15, 2010 (gmt 0)
Or, at least try to put yourself into the shoes of a USER once in a while and pause looking at everything through the eyes of a web publisher.
I put myself in the shoe of a user all the time and broadcasting is what you do when you use radio waves with inherently flawed protocols to transmit information. Remember, they said it happened with "non-password protected Wi-Fi" which is the same as broadcasting because it's completely unprotected binary information that ANYONE can read with any simple smart phone or laptop.
Might as well shout it from the roof top for all to hear.
A smart user doesn't use wifi, they use EVDO/3G/4G.
Otherwise your data is literally on the public airwaves accessible to anyone within range.
Using the postcard metaphor, if I wanted it to be private it wouldn't be a postcard now would it?
Instead of a postcard you would use an ENVELOPE (SSL) so nobody else could see it.
So when I drive down the street and my phone is automatically connecting to every open wifi around, am I not doing anything different than Google did?
If I run a special app it records all those networks, nothing Google didn't do.
Once I have access to an open network, there is nothing private going on unless you're using SSL.
Don't hate Google just because people are duped into feeling secure using an open connection.
It's like the old phone party-lines we had when I was a kid in rural Kansas where anyone alone the line could pick up and listen to the call. If you wanted privacy for something you drove down the road and used the dedicated pay phone.
Just like now, if you want real privacy with no obvious man-in-the-middle attacks (for now) you use EVDO/3G/4G, if you don't, you get what you pay for which is a lack of security and privacy.
Seriously, just because people are ignorant about the inherent flaws in wifi security doesn't make it any more secure and I feel no empathy with their situation except that they're ignorant about the lack of privacy.
The best you can do with wifi is VPN or SSL, and if you use neither, you should at least have ZERO expectations of privacy or security and be well aware that caca could occur.
Personally, I'd rather have Google sample the connection than a lurking hacker deliberately sniffing and storing my passwords!