Google logging wireless network info

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by funkydude, Apr 23, 2010.

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  1. arubarocks77
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    arubarocks77 Guest

    :thumb: :thumb: Right On!
  2. EncryptedBytes
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    EncryptedBytes Registered Member

    Unless more details have surfaced since last year that I am unaware of, I recall Google was only capturing SSID and MAC of the networks? This information is broadcasted in the clear on any WLAN encrypted or not, and you can even view the MACs of connected clients. If they were connecting to the unsecured networks and logging packet information that is one thing, though what they were logging is similar to writing down names and addresses from a phone book. Not to mention in terms of reliable information private networks are volatile, the BSSIDs and devices are always changing. I see very little harm if any being done with what they did in this case.
  3. Daveski17
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    Daveski17 Registered Member

    Google staff 'knew of wi-fi snooping', report says

    The Google engineer who wrote a program that collected personal data from wi-fi networks told at least two other colleagues, a report has revealed.

    ~ BBC News Technology
  4. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Merged Threads to Continue Same Topic.
  5. Hungry Man
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    Hungry Man Registered Member

    If I yell at my neighbor across the street about my day is it illegal for someone to write down what I'm saying?

    Just curious as to what people ITT think. I mean, I'll say it's creepy. But... anyone here think it's illegal? Or that it should be?
  6. Wroll
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    Wroll Registered Member

    Unencrypted WiFi is not yelling. It's more like a very bad protected house where you would be able to get in at anytime. If you yell you can't expect people to cover their ears or to forget what were you talking about. To snoop a WiFi connection you need some tools to do it.
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  7. PaulyDefran
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    PaulyDefran Registered Member

    'Wrong' and 'illegal', aren't mutually exclusive. Doesn't anybody just not do something anymore, because it 'just wouldn't be right'? Hmmm...I guess we'll have to create laws covering 100% of everything a human could possibly do.

    PD
  8. Daveski17
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    Daveski17 Registered Member

    I don't think that analogy is particularly cogent. This may have not been illegal, but it is definitely deliberate eavesdropping. I honestly don't know why you keep defending Google's actions.
  9. Hungry Man
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    Hungry Man Registered Member

    If this were Microsoft I'd be defending them. If it were some single person I'd be defending them.

    Wifi = waves of light traveling large distances. Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they're "secret." Every transmission over wifi is like screaming in a language no one can hear for fairly large range.

    If they were cracking encrypted Wifi (even WEP) I'd say they're way out of line and it's absolutely illegal.

    All they're doing is listening in on a very loud conversation.

    Creepy, for sure. Maybe it should be illegal if the origin of the wifi is within a private home and not some cafe. But that's pretty strict. Many wifi cards are picking up those signals (if they're in the area) without software there to interpret it anyways.

    I hope this is never the case, as it will only lead to laws like SOPA and CISPA, that are restricting freedom because some people think downloading a movie is akin to murder.

    Is what Google is doing wrong? Sure, arguably. It's definitely a bit creepy and I'm not that comfortable with it. But... should everything that I'm creeped out by be illegal? Hell no.

    It's nothing like a house. You aren't entering their home, which would be outright illegal. You are not trespassing. You are on the street and they're broadcasting information far beyond where you are as if they're blasting their radio or something. If I'm on the street with unencrypted Wifi with my commputer my wifi card is probably picking it up (and subsequently dropping the packets) regardless of tools. The only thing you need is a program to interpret it. It's less like someone yelling and more like someone yelling in German or something, I'm hearing it regardless, I just need one of those little translating books.
  10. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

  11. Daveski17
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    Daveski17 Registered Member

    I think, if you were honest with yourself, you couldn't really justify these actions by Google. It was snooping/eavesdropping, whichever way you look at it. It's not unlike spying on your neighbours using a camera fitted with a telescopic lens & claiming that it is their own fault for not drawing their curtains or closing the blinds. That's my defence anyway LOL! ;)
  12. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

  13. EncryptedBytes
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    EncryptedBytes Registered Member

    Well that changes my opinion on the matter a bit. If they engineer Joe was capturing packet streams which would mean the software used was actively associating and sniffing networks as it drove past. I have no sympathy for users who use unencrypted access without protection, but at least in this case the employee(s) who sniffed networks should be prosecuted.
  14. funkydude
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    funkydude Registered Member

    Google 'in breach' of UK data privacy agreement

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19014206#
  15. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Merged Threads to Continue Related Topic.
  16. Dermot7
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    Dermot7 Registered Member

  17. TheQuest
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    TheQuest Registered Member

    Hi Dermot7
    The ICO say they now want to see, the said wrongfully collected data before it is deleted by Google. :eek:

    It a joke, that in doing so there will yet another party, with the said wrongfully collected data. :shifty:

    Which you can be sure that the ICO will immediately delete. :rolleyes:

    It is hard to make it up. :cautious:

    Take Care
    TheQuest :cool:
  18. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

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