Google logging wireless network info

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

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  1. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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  2. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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  3. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    Sure, I'll oblige. ;) Thing is, Google did idiots a favor here.

    Apparently the Google Street View Car that drives along the roads of developed / popular countries taking photos of the surroundings, also collected WiFi information. “For locating WiFi Hotspots”, said Google. But along with this it also apparently copied whatever information was floating in the Ether at just that moment.

    But instead of the media saying “Watch out! If you don’t password protect your WiFi network, any guy driving around with a laptop can download your transmitting information”, they are screaming “Google spied on you!”.

    What BS. First of all, how did the public find out Google collected this information in the first place? Because Google admitted it. They disclosed what happened and brought this shitstorm on themselves. If Google just kept its trap shut and quietly deleted this data, nobody would have been the wiser.

    Secondly, never mind the fact that Google had the means to collected this kind of information (with something like Wire Shark, so do you), you have to ask yourself how was it possible for them to collect this info while driving by no less. The answer is because the wireless networks were open, ie. not password protected and thus, for all practical purposes, open to the public.

    These people should be lucky it was Google that captured their data and not some hacker kiddie war driving with his laptop collecting your personal emails and Internet banking passwords for far more sinister purposes, such as liberating you from your hard earned cash by either stealing it or a little bit of creative extortion.

    So no, Google didn’t spy on you – Google exposed you for the idiot that you were if you let this happen.

    Now password protect your wireless network before somebody else who won’t tell you about it comes and steals your personal data.
     
  4. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I'm often a critic of Google, the proof of that is plentiful here at Wilders. However, I'm in complete agreement with you on this. As said, anyone has the capability to collect this data, even your neighbor. At some point the finger of blame needs to start pointing back at ourselves. Anyone who comes to this website and has stayed a bit, knows there is no lack of people, governments and organizations that want information. If you understand that, and still do something as stupid as not protecting your wireless network, then you have to accept the consequences.

    Eice is right, be damned glad an always in the spotlight corporation like Google had this happen rather than the pizza boy by day, hacker by night 16 year old doing it. He'll cause you more trouble by far, and there won't be any EFF, news channels or tech websites riding to your rescue.
     
  5. guest

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    I agree with this post, you got it right Eice.
     
  6. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    http://lastwatchdog.com/ftc-forgives-googles-wi-fi-spying-dont/
     
  7. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Oh now they're going to use hacker terms, huh? This situation was easily preventable and still is, but it's always easier to blame someone else. Lock down your Wi-Fi and tell Google where they can stick their cameras, problems solved. As far as I know there are no "rights" when it comes to snapping photos where ever and when ever you please. Countries don't HAVE to let them do it.
     
  8. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Google can do a whole heck of a lot more than an individual when it comes to personal information. And a legitimate organization should be expected to abide by standards above and beyond what you would expect from a criminal. Just because a criminal can do it doesn't mean that it is okay for a legitimate company or individual to do the same. That being said, people should use a password protected wireless connection. But a great many people do not know any better.
     
  9. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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  10. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Of course they shouldn't do some things they do, but they're Google, you know how that goes. As I said, countries can easily say "take your cars and shove them" to Google, which, personally, I think they should. You'd be crazy to think that something like that wasn't going to come with more controversies than you could shake a stick at. We still need to point fingers of blame at regular folks though when it comes down to securing their routers. I mean come on, even a complete idiot can at LEAST password protect something.

    I wish people would see these stories and have a light bulb go off in their heads, but it seems we just go through controversy after controversy and nothing changes.
     
  11. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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  12. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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  13. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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  14. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    Any US citizens aboard the forum who can explain the value of the FTC's 'We will forgive you, you noughty boy but I expect and trust that you'll improve' legal letter (link) compared to the current FCC investigation on whether federal laws have been broken?

    Can collecting private data (like full emails, medical info, etc link) by a commercial company be 'punished' by the FCC themselves?
    Or can/will the outcome of the investigation receive a possible follow-up by another government body?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  15. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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  16. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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  17. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    ^Thanks for keeping us updated, JR.
     
  18. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    Baserk, you're welcome! Take care.
     
  19. PJC

    PJC Very Frequent Poster

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    Google 'Street View' turned into...'ALL View'. :thumbd:
     
  20. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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  21. elapsed

    elapsed Registered Member

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    From a software perspective, I'm going to assume that certain characteristics of a face would award a certain amount of points, once it has passed a point threshhold it is classed as a face and blurred out.

    This could be simplified by Google by flagging anything that scores, say, half the points to be characterized as a face. Those flagged pictures can then be sent for manual review. This would avoid expecting Google to manually examine every photo taken.
     
  22. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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  23. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Oh wow. So far the Germans and the French of opened up a big ole can ' o whoopass on Google!:D But vI will say that I do like using that Google street view feature. The other day I went back to look at my old apartment in Mesa Az. Traveled over to Tempe were I attended ASU etc.. It was fun.
     
  24. Dermot7

    Dermot7 Registered Member

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  25. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    I would be surprised if they won't be sued.
     
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