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Why Google’s Wi-Fi Payload Collection Was Inadvertent

June 19th, 2010 06:32 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Reader Lauren Weinstein found a blog post that gives a good, fairly technical explanation of why Google’s collection of Wi-Fi payload data was incidental, and why it’s easy to collect Wi-Fi payload data accidentally in the course of mapping Wi-Fi access points. “Although some people are suspicious of their explanation, Google is almost certainly telling the truth when it claims it was an accident. The technology for Wi-Fi scanning means it’s easy to inadvertently capture too much information, and be unaware of it. … It’s really easy to protect your data: simply turn on WPA. This completely stops Google (or anybody else) from spying on your private data. … Laws against this won’t stop the bad guys (hackers). They will only unfairly punish good guys (like Google) whenever they make a mistake. … [A]nybody who has experience in Wi-Fi mapping would believe Google. Data packets help Google find more access-points and triangulate them, yet the payload of the packets do nothing useful for Google because they are only fragments.”

Source: Why Google’s Wi-Fi Payload Collection Was Inadvertent

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