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Google Street View logs WiFi networks, Mac addresses
Google's...Street View service is under fire in Germany for scanning private WLAN networks, and recording users' unique Mac (Media Access Control) addresses, as the car trundles along.
Germany's Federal Commissioner for Data Protection Peter Schaar says he's "horrified" by the discovery.
"I am appalled… I call upon Google to delete previously unlawfully collected personal data on the wireless network immediately and stop the rides for Street View"....
... Google is now saying, in a late-night-Friday European-time confession that is sure to infuriate regulators and privacy advocates, that its previous claims were wrong.
Mr. Eustace wrote that a review of Street View software has revealed that due to a programming error in 2006, the company has indeed been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from non-password protected Wi-Fi networks in Europe, in the United States and other major regions around the world.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 1:13 pm (utc) on May 15, 2010]
[edit reason] added ny times link [/edit]
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 12:56 am (utc) on May 16, 2010]
[edit reason] you called it - off topic [/edit]
(from ken_b) What has recording this info got to do with taking pictures for street view?
I don't get it. Did their cameras not work unless the sniffed out wifi signals?
I can only add, if you are working over an open wifi - you deserve to be sniffed.
if you forget to lock your front door, you deserve to have someone rummage through your belongings. Or if a woman leaves a crack in her blinds, she deserves to be target of a peeping tom..
And I think it is pretty clear that google have tresspassed on our good will.
if you forget to lock your front door, you deserve to have someone rummage through your belongings.
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.
it is different in Europe. airwaves are not by/for the public. It is much more closed system over there.
Some countries actually have laws protecting clueless users.
"Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently said internet users shouldn't worry about privacy unless they have something to hide.
What kind of low IQ answer is that"
Nach gegenwärtigen Erkenntnissen ist davon auszugehen, dass neben der örtlichen Erfassung, dem Verschlüsselungsstatus der Geräte, der weltweit eindeutigen MAC-Adresse auch der vom Betreiber vergebene Name (sog. SSID) gespeichert wurde. Bei letzterer verwenden Privatpersonen nicht selten ihre Klarnamen oder andere auf sie hinweisende Informationen. Sowohl mit Blick auf die Benutzung des eigenen Namens als auch auf die Möglichkeit, die WLAN-Netze aufgrund ihrer örtlichen Lage Bewohnern von Häusern zuzuordnen, handelt es sich um die Erfassung und Speicherung personenbezogener Daten und deren Übertragung in die USA.
After realizing this it can be assumed that apart from the collection of the location, the encryption status of the devices and the world-wide unique MAC addresses, also the name assigned by the owner (the so-called SSID) were stored. With the latter private people use pretty often their personal names or other information referring to them. Regarding the use of the personal name together with the possibility of localizing the WLAN networks, it may be possibile to localize the inhabitants of houses, which is a matter of collection and storage of personal data and their transmission to the USA.
There are a few open networks in my neighbourhood but I wouldn't know the first thing about reading the emails or data the neighbours are transmitting. Don't you have to have some special code / hacking stuff available to do so ?
Can't really accept the arguments incredibill is making. He is not a layman and is not looking at it from a 'normal user's' point of view.