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StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
Premium
join:2000-08-06
Galt's Gulch
kudos:3

An Intentional Mistake: The Anatomy of Google's Wi-Fi Sniff

Apologies if this has already been posted (obviously I can't check) but I just found out that this was intentional/planned.

quote:
And if Google had its way, the public would have never learned the software on Google’s Street View mapping cars was “intended” to collect payload data from open Wi-Fi networks.

»www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/0···igation/
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Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
Google is still doing that with a slightly different approach now. They collect SSID, MAC addresses, associated with precise locations of WiFi spots and they enlist much more free resources for that task. How do they do that? They offer Google Navigation program on Android phones for free. And they always recommend users to turn on WiFi on their phones all the time, when they navigate. Suggested reason? It helps to improve GPS coordinates precision... Yeah, right. GPS needs that... But many like to believe to anything they were told or simply don't care. Google Navigation requires on-line connection (effectively it refuses to navigate if you're not connected to the Internet) and despite the flood of requests from Navigation users to make it run offline, Google always refused to implement that feature. Why? Because they need Internet connection to collect and transmit in real time your personal coordinates and data about WiFi spots across all your path (that's actually why they say - keep WiFi on when you navigate).

So, now they can't snoop plain text emails sent at the time, while their multiple cars moving around, but with the huge army of Google volunteers (Navigator users) they get much more info (again, in real time) about WiFi spots around the country. One way or another - the goal for the Google is always the same - make money from your personal data...
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Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
Premium
join:2000-08-06
Galt's Gulch
kudos:3
said by OZO:

But many like to believe to anything they were told or simply don't care.

Of course. If you own/use an Android phone/tablet or an Apple product that connects to the internet almost everything you do is being monitored/logged (and they may or may not tell you). But as you say people simply don't care. Doesn't bother me. They can monitor/track my non-existent devices all they like The only Google products I use are their search engine and Google Earth (I don't upload data).
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Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to StuartMW
Actually, the ultimate goal of Google and all businesses is to make money. Doing whatever. Eg: manufacturing and selling of many products (especially cars or other big-ticket items) is merely the means to get a customer to finance their purchase - and an affiliate of the manufacturer makes the real money for the corporation off the interest; printer makers reap their major profits off the later sale of ink cartridges; diabetic tester manufacturers make their big money off the sale of after-market test strips; and so it goes. Google makes its money in a variety of ways while providing a popular service... they sell ad space, they sell personal data (or access to personal data), and they sell certain market "affiliations" to a variety of paying customers (since the Google users pay nothing).

Any time one sees a "free" service of any kind being offered, they need to realize it costs somebody something to provide it... and it behooves the user to determine where and how that cost is covered to assure himself that something he truly may value (eg: certain bits of privacy-related information) isn't involved in using the service.

What is most amazing to me is the sheer number of users who employ all manner of "free" social-network and tracking/mapping services, then respond with righteous indignation when it becomes apparent the service provider is using the user's information to fund (and make profit) off information related to his usage. TANSTAAFL! How does a reasonable person believe that any company like Google stays afloat and makes profit? The user should consider that before going in. He should act accordingly. If the user-cost in privacy is too high, don't use it; if the usage advantage outweighs the personal privacy cost, live with it!
--
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!" -- P.Henry, 1775


ashrc4
Premium
join:2009-02-06
australia
reply to StuartMW
In order to opt-out here you need to tag your SSID "_nomap"
However the majority think it should be the other way around.
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Paradigm Shift beta test pilot. So far nothing to report.
Now is the not right time to stop folding.


StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
Premium
join:2000-08-06
Galt's Gulch
kudos:3
reply to Blackbird
said by Blackbird:

How does a reasonable person believe that any company like Google stays afloat and makes profit?

Unfortunately many people do not even consider this. They think Google, and other "free" services. as "just there" like a natural resource. The same applies to the devices they use. Someone/somewhere/somehow comes up with them and they do these cool things at little or no cost (to them). The money and effort to produce the product/service is out of sight and out of mind.

Partially this attitude is due to the business model employed by many companies these days. It used to be you paid (in full) for products and services. Nowadays stuff is free/subsidized/amortized and consumers have come to expect that.

If the user-cost in privacy is too high, don't use it; if the usage advantage outweighs the personal privacy cost, live with it!

And many of us here have decided that the cost is too high in terms of privacy.

The bottom line is that the old saying

"There's no such thing as a free lunch"

is true. Someone/somewhere has to pay. The question one should always ask is who/where and how even when its buried in the fine print of a TOS agreement.
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Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!


Name Game
Premium
join:2002-07-07
Grand Rapids, MI
kudos:7
reply to StuartMW
said by StuartMW:

said by OZO:

But many like to believe to anything they were told or simply don't care.

Of course. If you own/use an Android phone/tablet or an Apple product that connects to the internet almost everything you do is being monitored/logged (and they may or may not tell you). But as you say people simply don't care. Doesn't bother me. They can monitor/track my non-existent devices all they like The only Google products I use are their search engine and Google Earth (I don't upload data).

They are just monitoring and protecting us all from doom. »www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/05/···sts-say/
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Gladiator Security Forum
»www.gladiator-antivirus.com/

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
reply to StuartMW
Agreed - but this is not a new business model to most people. Most of television and radio works like that.

The difference, of course, is that TV, radio, newspapers and magazines mostly get to sell anonymous eyeballs and ears.


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
reply to StuartMW
said by StuartMW:


And a handful of us here have decided that the cost is too high in terms of privacy.

fixed

as to the OP, I had to check if this topic had a 2010 timestamp, sadly it didn't. What is new here?
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--Standard disclaimers apply.--
The preceding posting is null and void in Arizona and any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law.


StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
Premium
join:2000-08-06
Galt's Gulch
kudos:3
said by AVD:

What is new here?

That Google admitted that it had intentionally collected data from Wi-Fi networks. In the past they'd said it was accidental. I consider that new.
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Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!