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If you're worried about the street address of your home Wi-Fi hotspot being public, Google has a solution.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company late today announced a way for the owners of Wi-Fi networks to be removed from Google's crowdsourced geolocation database, which it reworked this summer after CNET drew attention to privacy concerns.
It's simple: all you need to do is append "_nomap" to the name of the Wi-Fi network. So "theharrisons" becomes "theharrisons_nomap".
"As we explored different approaches for opting-out access points from the Google Location Server, we found that a method based on wireless network names provides the right balance of simplicity as well as protection against abuse," Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel, wrote in a blog post. "Specifically, this approach helps protect against others opting out your access point without your permission."
Importantly, most people will not know how to opt out.
...this approach helps protect against others opting out your access point without your permission