Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by funkydude, Apr 23, 2010.
Lots of FUD in there and Peter Schaar doesn't really have his facts straight.
Google is basically wardriving access points for their geolocation provider service. Which is nothing new or unique. There are many other geolocation services and databases such as the commercial ones from Skyhook/Loki and Intel (http://www.jiwire.com/), open ones like geomena.org and community efforts like wigle.net, all of which are populated by wardriving. Since Google is doing Streetview they just happen to have their Streetview cars pull double duty.
Ad they aren't mapping MAC addresses to street addresses, but to GPS lat/lon locations. It may be a subtle difference, but a difference nonetheless.
And the assertion:
is just nonsense. Mac addresses don't route. That is a function of IP addresses, and MAC to IP mapping only takes place on your local network.
Sort of a response from Google posted today...
"The importance of geolocation services"
Mvario, I really appreciate you clarifying some of these things. You have been very helpful.
Here is another question for you, if you don't mind, concerning other applications. Is there any way to know if another application, like Skype, is sending out geolocation info?? Would something like Wireshark be able to see this sort of thing?
If it's not encrypted then sure, a packet sniffer will show you the raw data of each packet. It's all http traffic though so you aren't going to find a decode for it, you'll have to inspect packets by hand.
Google Admits to Snooping on Personal Data
WiFi data collection: An update
Data collected by Google cars
Google Street View snooped private WiFi traffic
Thanks for posting these.
For me, it's GOODBYE to everything Google. I discovered Zoho and it can do almost everything you can do with Google. Docs, Notebook, Storage, Email, and about 20 other things (no kidding!) All free for personal use.
I am wondering something. I know that if in NoScript I block gstatic.com, the geolocation is unable to work....regardless of whether I have it enabled or not. Is there a way that gstatic.com can be blocked by all applications on your computer? If so, then I would think that if you could find out what geolocation service Skype uses, you could block that service from your computer as well.
Oh wow! Thanks for the tip. I'll have to check them out.
Ok google you have finally pushed my buttons!
1. Have taken a picture of me and my house without my consent!
2. Now snooping wi-fi networks!
This has gone on for way too long and has got to stop!
as for unencrypted networks its the owners fault for not securing the network.
the documentation always says make sure you secure the network and tells you how.
I don't know about that. If I leave my safe open that doesn't mean you can inventory my contents and take what you want. If the front door is left unlocked it doesn't mean you're welcome to come right in. These intrusions by Google go beyond just "wardriving"... and it's unacceptable.
I think people should also know that it is currently a criminal offence to use other peoples' internet connection without their permission in the UK:
Not that this would cover what Google are doing, but interesting re: the comments above about it being the owner's 'fault'. From what I understand Google are not doing anything illegal re: wifi because they aren't actually using your service, just intercepting information relating to that service which is being broadcast into a public place. There might be other laws to fall foul of though in this interesting situation especially in how the information gets used.
That's an excellent point. And Google, I'm sure, didn't know this.
What is your ultimate goal? Is Skype even currently using geolocation? If they find out what they are doing, and what service if any, then sure, it would be trivial, probably in multiple ways, to block it.
On the other hand there is no silver bullet that is going to block every untrusted application installed on your computer from doing geolocation. That just is not possible. There are too many ways for it to be implemented and any lookup with a geolocation service provider does not have to take place on the client side. If you really need to keep your location secret then you should probably just disconnect from the Internet.
LOL! I will not be disconnecting from the internet but I would like to maintain a little anonymity. I believe that Skype does have a geolocation feature, as an option....the last I checked.
And in Germany it's the law.
That's hilarious. Good post though written to clue everyone in that it's a "bizarre" court ruling. The comments are priceless!
Edit: After further searching, it seems it's not a "law" at all; only a civil case. So, there really is no "law."
..........and this from The Daily Telegraph, in the U.K.
Google to hand over intercepted data by Maija Palmer and Lionel Barber
Missouri AG looks into Google Wi-Fi mess By Robert McMillan.
Lawmakers disturbed over Google's Wi-Fi snooping By Nancy Gohring.
Separate names with a comma.