[LINK] Google's WiFi bungle

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Wed May 19 12:01:11 AEST 2010

At 07:22 AM 19/05/2010, Stilgherrian wrote:
>Personally I don't think mapping the SSIDs of Wi-Fi networks is a 
>breach of privacy, since it IS broadcast information and it isn't 
>personally identifiable in and of itself. Opinions may differ on 
>that, but I reckon that if Google doesn't pass on that data to third 
>parties then all is well. My understanding is that if you use the 
>related feature of the Google Maps application, your mobile device 
>tells Google what Wi-Fi networks it can see an Google tell you your location.

I find this interesting, if this is the actual use of the collected 
data, taken in conjunction with Kim's point about the broadcast (wide 
area, longish distances) and the value of this for locating wifi 
hotspots in relation to a particular house. At the moment I only see 
2 networks near my place (one being mine). But in large buildings 
there can be lots. So the location aspect of the Streetview 
collection is not very good to start with. In a city, you have no 
idea where those networks are. So what's the point? It can't be GPS 
because the actual location is suspect. Are they using relative 
signal strength? Are they using triangulation? Has anyone dug deeper 
on this beyond what is being said on the surface (and has been shown 
to be misleading at first depending on who was answering)?


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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