[LINK] Google's WiFi bungle

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Wed May 19 15:49:41 AEST 2010

On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 03:08:05PM +1000, Stephen Wilson wrote:
> Kim Holburn wrote:
> > Sorry I think that a lot of "technologists" are aware of the issues.
> I'm sure you're right.  But I think it is fair to characterise a "gulf" 
> between IT and privacy (allowing for some sweeping generalisations in 
> those labels) when numerous IT specialists on this list and elsewhere 
> state erroneously over and over again that because the wifi information 
> was "public", it was not subject to privacy law.  

i haven't seen ANYONE on this list state that, or anything like that.  not
even once, let alone "over and over again".

> Simply, they are wrong.  

of course.  straw-men always are.  that's the reason why they're created.

> Well, it certainly is a lot more clear cut when we use the technically 
> correct terms.  Instead of "public information" and "private 
> information" please note that the operable term is "personal 
> information" meaning information about a subject where their identity is 
> apparent or may be readily determined. 

please demonstrate how that definition actually applies to tiny snippets
of random garbage picked up when scanning wifi networks.

SSIDs don't identify individuals.  MAC addresses don't.  IP addresses
don't. random data packets and packet fragments don't (even if

google is certainly guilty of other privacy infringements but this
so-called "google wifi bungle" is just a media beat-up.


craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>

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