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WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Google has mapped every WiFi network in Britain
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Author Topic: Google has mapped every WiFi network in Britain  (Read 785 times)

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Offline Blitzen

  • Forum Member
Google has mapped every WiFi network in Britain
« on: May 31, 2010, 10:42:32 am »


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/7786255/Google-has-mapped-every-WiFi-network-in-Britain.html


Quote
Every WiFi wireless router – the device that links most computer owners to the internet - in every home has been entered into a Google database.

The information was collected by radio aerials on their Street View cars, which have now photographed almost every home in the country.

The data is then used on Google's Maps for Mobile application to locate mobile phones such as iPhones in order for users to access information relevant to the area such as restaurants, cinemas, theatres, shops and hotels.

The project had remained secret until an inquiry in Germany earlier this month in which Google was forced to admit that it “mistakenly” downloaded emails and other data from unsecured wireless networks where they were not protected by a password.

Google points out that other companies have already mapped wireless networks, notably a company called Skyhook Wireless which has a contract with Apple, manufacturers of the iPhone.

Google say the information, which lists the networks’ MAC (Media Access Control) address and SSID (Service Set-ID) number, but not their house number, is publicly available because the wireless network signals extend beyond the property in which they are located

 :scared:

Time for new network cards and SSID change maybe ?

Offline DaBees-Knees

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Re: Google has mapped every WiFi network in Britain
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2010, 12:05:34 pm »
Certainly in the UK, the data protection act seems to have been contravened by this action. Is privacy a thing of the past? Google really need to be taken to task about this. As the new UK coalition government is keen to protect privacy it will be interesting to see what happens in this case.

Two questions need to be asked.

(1) Why do Google need this information?

(2) What do they intend to do with it?

Offline GhostShip

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Re: Google has mapped every WiFi network in Britain
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2010, 06:50:39 pm »
This is definitely a breach of Uk law, even if the signal is emitting outside the home to receive it without licence or authorisation is a breach of both the wireless telegraphy act 1967 and the  telcommunications act 1984, I hope their lawyers see sense and pay the fine when it arrives.

Re: Google has mapped every WiFi network in Britain
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2010, 10:23:13 pm »
probably seemed like a good idea at the time
add wifi hotspots to google maps....

perhaps not thought through quite as thoroughly as it should have been.

Offline White Stripes

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Re: Google has mapped every WiFi network in Britain
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2010, 12:11:57 pm »
such mapping is legal in the US... btw, you dont have to change the SSID just turn its 'announcement' off (the router should have this option... if it doesnt... look into a firmware update... still not? get a router that isnt owned by your isp).... the wireless devices that already know about your router will still connect as usual the only difference being that if you want to add a new device you need to type the SSID manually instead of 'searching for available networks' for it....

oh and... be sure to change that default password... k?

Quote
(1) Why do Google need this information?

(2) What do they intend to do with it?
1 & 2 ; google maps --- example use; wifi access points 'foobar1' 'l33tman' and 'starbuck9' are in proximity to the a restaruant you are looking for and your portable device does not have a GPS reciver... (netbook as example of such a device)....

nother example use --- you have a cell but the data rates arent so great where you are.... the map can then be used with a GPS phone to find an open/free access point to send in that business report or..... whatever else you may want to do with a connection faster than what most cells give...

that was the idea anyway... but as they say... the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray...

as for their 'wisnort' gathered data... um... their bad? (hell of a 'my bad' situation tho...)

Offline Blitzen

  • Forum Member
Re: Google has mapped every WiFi network in Britain
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2010, 05:49:54 pm »

Following on from this story which i guess will keep rolling for some time yet

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia_pacific/10249091.stm


Quote
The Australian police have been ordered to investigate Google for possible breach of privacy while taking pictures for its Street View service.

Australia's attorney general said he had asked police to probe the internet giant following complaints that Google had gathered personal data from some unencrypted wi-fi services.

Google has admitted doing so, but apologised, saying it was in error.

The company has recently criticised the government's plan for internet filters.

Shame more governments were not asking more questions about people privacy being violated by google  :(


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