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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]
The Karlsruhe court ruled that Wi-Fi owners are liable for abuse by a third party in cases where they fail to password-protect their internet connections.
I would really like to know if there was any usable data whatsoever. I so doubt it. A couple packets here-n-there.
OK fine, Google broke the law. Then isn't every wifi and laptop sniffing phone also breaking the law by definition...
In that light - they were doing a public service.
Google Admits Street View Logged MAC Addresses and Payload Data
how many *consumers* you believe consciously understand that their wi-fi, unless actively secured, is interceptable by others. Guys like you and me know these things. But the average consumer doesn't.
Having a large sign on your door with your name is fine. Reading that sign when you walk in a street is also OK, but creating a database with all the names of people linked to their address isn't.
If you can't "listen" to air waves like Google - do you have to have some sort of license to own a radio? How do you watch TV?
It doesn't matter to me how many understand. I am over hand holding people who want to use technology but have no interest in taking a day or two to learn how to use it.
If you want to hook up a little box to your computer that broadcasts your info to the world and you have no idea how it works, what the implications are or even what is broadcasting then I have little sympathy for you.
Oh yes a day or two will be more than enough for anyone to understand everything there is to know about the new computer they have just purchased!
I don't know how to program the built in video recorder in my 42" all singing and dancing TV? Does that mean I should not be allowed to own it?
Put the onus on the manufacturers of the devices to make sure they are secure out of the box.
It's negligent if you just plug something in with no idea of what will happen or what the risks are.
They were also capturing data on those networks such as e-mails and details about which websites a person had visited. That goes beyond just innocently mapping WiFi hotspots.
I'm sure you approve of laws such as consumer food labelling laws, truth in lending, Fair Credit Reporting Act, etc. This is all stuff people should know, right? It's all in writing when they sign the loan, get a credit card, etc.
All these laws are based upon protecting people from well, yeah, what they should know (it's all there in writing! Read it!)
We are still talking about the average consumer
. Maybe I am a huge cynical jerk but don't buy it or use it if you can't be bothered to learn how, especially when the damage done can be so great.
I am over hand holding people who want to use technology
I don't really expect many will be able to discern the difference as the Google-love is too strong here to be objective. I guarantee you that if the government was doing this, your responses would be decidedly different but they don't have an adsense like program.
Why is Google collecting this data?http://googlepolicyeurope.blogspot.com/2010/04/data-collected-by-google-cars.html
The data which we collect is used to improve Google’s location based services, as well as services provided by the Google Geo Location API. For example, users of Google Maps for Mobile can turn on “My Location” to identify their approximate location based on cell towers and WiFi access points which are visible to their device.
Once you have a phone with a compass ("magnetometer"), a plumbline ("accelerometer"), and you can pinpoint your position (using GPS) and your time (using a clock), that's enough to work out which direction you're pointing in the Universe.http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/05/sky-map-for-android-location-and.html
So the government is doing all of this, we're running on military inventions.
Technology is advancing at a rapid rate and the Luddites with their archaic rules and paranoia will not slow us down!
Do you know how to tear down and rebuild the motor in your car? No?
You know how to frame and drywall a house?
You know how to fly a plane every time you take a flight?
Who's forcing you to hold their hands? It's not clear why you're expressing such an elitist attitude when *you* (and Google) don't actually have to do anything.
In fact, just so it's quite clear, Google - not the consumer - is the aggressor in this case. The consumer doesn't WANT your hand holding. It'd be nice if Google just left everyone alone. See? Then everyone would be happy.