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"Bro" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37401946)

wtf @ title

Re:"Bro" (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402082)

It's a mystery. [lmgtfy.com]

Re:"Bro" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402278)

What is the purpose of recycling a meme for this particular subject?

Re:"Bro" (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402364)

What is the purpose of a meme?

Re:"Bro" (1)

beckerist (985855) | more than 2 years ago | (#37403014)

A meme is a meme, it seems, it seems.

Re:"Bro" (4, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402104)

wtf @ title

I take it the word "Bro" has you confused. It's quite simple, Google will not track members of the 1st Infantry Division (United_States) [wikipedia.org] or members of the Border Roads Organization [wikipedia.org] , especially if said members are wearing a male bra [wikipedia.org] while in a particular town in Sweden [wikipedia.org] . Is it clear enough now?

Re:"Bro" (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402362)

I would mod this one up if I had the "bro's"

Re:"Bro" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402114)

lurk moar

Cool Story, Bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37401950)

Knowing Google, this won't happen anytime soon.

Aw, who am I kidding as the proud owner of a CR48.

Re:Cool Story, Bro (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402376)

I bet it'll happen. What they are doing is tricking people into associating a name with a wifi hotspot. Bastards. Or something.

About time. (1)

Snkbyt3d (2461390) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402006)

Good to know..

Re:About time. (1, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402384)

So... you can opt not to be tracked by registering with google your wifi access piont and contact information, including name, street address etc.

Is that handing over the information we're asking them not to track, and then some?

That would be like being able to "opt out" of a TSA groping by taking all your clothes off, bending over and separating your cheeks. Not much of a win.

Re:About time. (1)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402742)

While I didn't quite see that mentioned in the articles, you'll almost certainly be giving them your account name (so necessarily your contact information), which combined with the data they have gets your full name (via G+) and approximate GPS coordinates, etc.

But in exchange they won't track you with your AP anymore (they'll just use your neightbor's, firend's, office's, ...)

Re:About time. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37403056)

That would be like being able to "opt out" of a TSA groping by taking all your clothes off, bending over and separating your cheeks. Not much of a win.

That's subjective. ;)

Re:About time. (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37403222)

you can opt not to be tracked

No, you can opt out of helping others be tracked with your AP. Whether you are tracked or not is a completely different issue.

Personally, I'd prefer if people did not opt out, because people can already opt out of the tracking on their own cellphones*, and opting out of this is bad for anyone who is voluntarily trying to get their location.

* tracking by the providers is impossible to disable on the cellphone, but this won't help with that either.

Opting out of Geolocation (3, Insightful)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402018)

The service Google is talking about here tracks the physical location of Wifi hubs by SSID, and because of regulatory pressure they're letting the Wifi hub users opt out. But how are they going to do that? Let anybody fill out a web form saying "SSID '12345678' is mine" and opt out? (Or at least implement some minimal security by requiring you to also provide the street address, so they can validate that you know where that SSID is, though you could still forge an opt-out for your local Starbucks?)

One thing they don't talk about is whether they're tracking anything by IP address, or just by SSID. I'd really like to tell them not to track anything from my Wifi Access Point's IP address :-)

Meanwhile, I'm the owner of "linksys" - please opt me out!

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402086)

Perhaps I should RTFA, but do they track hidden SSID's?

If not, there is your opt out.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402284)

Hiding your ESSID is not a security feature, and can be found with a trivial amount of effort. all one would have to do is drop your WLAN card into monitor mode, and get near the AP, and wait for a beacon. Chances are Google collected this info in this exact manner, as it would be a bit difficult to drive down the road and log all ESSID's any other way. Now, with that said, hiding your ESSID only stops the AP from sending out broadcast beacons unless necessary. If there were little to no traffic on your network at the time a Google car came within range of your AP, AND you had the ESSID hidden, there's a pretty good chance the only info they got from the AP is the MAC. Also, unless the Google cars are equipped with multiple radios, there's a high probability that they could have rolled right past your AP and never jumped on the same channel you are on at the same time; they wouldn't have seen you in that circumstance either. I'd place my bet on Google putting 14 radios in each car, and locking each to one of the 14 2.4ghz wifi channels. If you want to see this for yourself, fire up a linux box, install Aircrack-ng. Once installed, run two commands to see exactly what I just descried:

airmon-ng start wlan0 (or whatever your WLAN card is, might be WLAN1, and so on)
then run:
airodump-ng mon0

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402842)

Cool story, bro. I'll file that under "lectures we seriously didn't ask for". You may go now.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37403124)

How about a fucking opt in? I know this is a very google friendly place, but dammit, I don't use their services and I don't want them tracking me, and I sure as shit don't think I should ever have to opt out of anything.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 2 years ago | (#37404368)

They aren't tracking you, if you don't use their services. However if you run a wireless router, they *may* record the location of that and use it to help ocate people who want their location used.

You will be able to say 'don't use my basestation' to help people determine their location.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (2)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 2 years ago | (#37406308)

You would think that, and you'd be sort of right. But this is basically a retroactive opt-out. Say your SSID was public and now you want it out of their database. I honestly cannot imagine why. There are literally 0 privacy implications here. It's pretty clear this was done just to shut up some European regulator who had no idea what the hell Google was actually doing but thought it *sounded* like something he should be concerned about.

Also, I think its not about SSID but rather MAC address of the router broadcasting an SSID. So if you changed your SSID, you wouldn't confuse the geolocation service, but if you stopped broadcasting your SSID and went stealth it should still serve as an opt-out.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402232)

MAC address, most likely. The data is already collected (by StreetView cars), so you won't be giving them anything they don't already know. Presumably, anyways.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402530)

Good reason (or not) to mask your mac, given your philosophical bent...

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#37405686)

And, so let's have some fun here:
  1. publish a well-known MAC address
  2. have thousands of people all change to use that one
  3. watch Google's geolocation algorithm go nuts!

(And yes, you'll need to be reasonably careful to not do this if you are within wifi range of someone who's done it already).

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402272)

The idea that this data is somehow private is the crazy part, people are broadcasting on free access public spectrum. It would be like giving people the option to opt out of having their house on street view. Its the general public's own misunderstanding that their WiFi signal is not limited to their own private space that is the real issue.

Just think if this was using a different method, where a phone user can snap a picture of a public road and google would given them their location based off street view image recognition. Would people still be furious that a picture of their property was used in a commercial product? Probably, but you can't stop people from taking pictures of public places. How is a "picture" of your publicly broadcast WiFi signature any different.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402328)

The idea that this data is somehow private is the crazy part, people are broadcasting on free access public spectrum. It would be like giving people the option to opt out of having their house on street view.

People leave their curtains open. That doesn't mean they expect someone to set up a webcam outside their house so anyone can watch what they're doing.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402592)

Right. I agree with this sentiment. There was, within the last year or so, a case involving a man who was naked in his home, but a side window was open. A girl and her grandmother walking past HIS house, on his property, using the side of the house as a sort of short cut, saw him and called the police. who did arrest him on public nudity charges. Charge were later reversed. Such is the society we live in.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37403772)

In his place I would file charges against the women for being peeping toms and trespassing. Also I would NOT drop the charges.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402622)

Some people would find that erotic...

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

ChikMag777 (1337235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402824)

Queue Halestorm's "I Get Off"

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37405468)

Are you trying to be funny? There was a huge outrage over street view in Germany and you do, in fact, have the ability to opt out of having your house on Street View. I've got a blurred house across from where I live.

Being visible/receivable from the street is one thing, having that data recorded and redistributed on a mass -- almost exhaustive -- scale is something different.

All that said, I don't really get the outrage over recording hash(BSSID) to location mappings. The hash of a BSSID can not be tied to any person (it's very unlikely for the BSSID itself, hash(MAC) would also work), and wifi geolocation is a very useful service. I've tried and it's just really hard to come up with any way to abuse this kind of data. One of the worst things I could come up with is that you can identify a router that has moved, when the location of an existing BSSID changes -- but that gets you what, exactly? I suppose if you've got the address data, you could get a mapping between BSSID and registered full name after a router moves. But that'd be really rare and still not very dangerous information.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402294)

most likely they would save the MAC address. IP addresses change, mine does every 24hrs.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402370)

Opt-out will most likely be validated based on BSSID (the AP's MAC address). SSID is obviously not unique and it can be changed. Using BSSID would also include opting out hidden SSID users so they cannot be targeted.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402452)

As one of the strongest supporters of privacy on the planet (I'd literally go to war for it), I have to ask:

Did I miss something? Since when is an SSID something private or secret?
Or asked in a better way: What exactly is the harm that comes to me if the whole world knows my SSID?

Without the WPA2 key that won’t get anyone anywhere. And without a valid VPN key and password, that still won't get anyone inside my network, since the Wifi is in a DMZ.
(But I have the suspicion that that's not the problem people are having with it.)

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402620)

What bothers me is that this isn't really that important. Who cares if they know where the access point is? It's just another AP. Sure you can tie it to a location, but what's the matter with that? The only information being associated is a GPS coordinate and an (internal!) MAC address and maybe an SSID. Big deal. You know there's an AP at these coordinates, but you could probably have guessed that buy looking them up and seeing there's a house there. So now they know for sure (within a few houses) and its MAC address (which, again, isn't visible on the net).

What bothers me isn't that they know where APs are, it's why. Basically, it lets them track all the major places in your life, even if you have your GPS off, just by passively listening on WiFi bands. Home, office, friends house, etc. It even has the benefit of being able to determine this _without_ frequency analysis (like GPS) because of the availability of out of band data like SSID text and whether you have the network saved. It even works on laptops! I'm amazed that no one seems to ever raise these concerns and instead focuses on GPS and AP locations (like this law) when this is just as, if not more, invasive.

The point being, this is far from "don't track me" and is more like, "track me via my neighbor's and office's APs, not mine".

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37403284)

To be tracked, you need to have an application running on your cellphone/laptop doing the Wifi scanning and sending the results to their servers. Why don't you just disable it? More: at least on laptops, why did you install it in the first place?

Cellphone tracking by AP or even GPS is a red herring anyway. You're always tracked by the cellphone towers.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

ChilyWily (162187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37404624)

Excellent point. Wired Internet access is already tracked. Now let's ask the next question:

Who would benefit from being able to track people this way?

On a side note, what would happen if someone modified the MAC address of their laptop/AP etc.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402712)

The service Google is talking about here tracks the physical location of Wifi hubs by SSID, and because of regulatory pressure they're letting the Wifi hub users opt out.

If only IEEE 802.XX [ietf.org] devices like wifi access points had some sort of address [wikipedia.org] that was guaranteed to be unique to that particular physical device. You could then even print that address on some sort of physical sticker and affix it to the device so that the owner could discover that address and communicate to third parties.

Oh, the things you could do!

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402848)

One thing they don't talk about is whether they're tracking anything by IP address, or just by SSID. I'd really like to tell them not to track anything from my Wifi Access Point's IP address :-)

They probably don't talk about that because you won't know the IP address unless the network is unencrypted.

Re:Opting out of Geolocation (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37403794)

If Street View is anything to go by there wont be any security. You can get anything removed from Street View just by claiming you live somewhere in the image and supplying an email address. The place I used to work at removed all their competitors' shops that way.

Linksys (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#37405682)

Meanwhile, I'm the owner of "linksys" - please opt me out!

linksys? Say, I do need your street address, but the rest I can get at the ChurchofWifi.

Yeah bro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402032)

Don't-Track-Me-Bro....adcast?

Neither links explain the Don't-Track-Me-Bro. In fact, they don't mention anything with that hyphens. Stupid title.

Re:Yeah bro (1)

c00rdb (945666) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402214)

Play on words from "don't taze me bro"

Re:Yeah bro (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402648)

Not a play on words, it's merely redundant verbiage tacked on in a pathetic attempt to sound cool, just like all the comments that contain a useless "This."

Re:Yeah bro (1)

aldo.gs (985038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37404040)

Not a play on words, it's merely redundant verbiage tacked on in a pathetic attempt to sound cool, just like all the comments that contain a useless "This."

This.

I just hate.. (2)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402034)

..that this has to happen at the behest of a government agency. Why didn't google just foresee this was going to happen and implement it originally?

Re:I just hate.. (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402090)

Because Google will do what they can get away with until someone sues/complains load enough, ie Google Books, waiting for a DMCA request before not linking to copyrighted content etc.

Re:I just hate.. (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402160)

"It's better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission..."

Re:I just hate.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402188)

Don't talk crap. Mobile location can be extremely useful. You go to google, search for something, like skateboard, or restaurant, and you'll get the nearest offerings come up, on a map, with the option to navigate from your current location.

When you grow up and leave home, have kids etc, you may discover there's a real world where the rest of the population lives.

Re:I just hate.. (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402242)

Don't talk crap. Mobile location can be extremely useful. You go to google, search for something, like skateboard, or restaurant, and you'll get the nearest offerings come up, on a map, with the option to navigate from your current location.

What if I'm not looking for the nearest location?

And what do I do when Google's idea of my location is not even in the same country, let alone the same town? When I was in Italy a couple of years ago Google was convinced that I was in Holland. Of course having the website come up in Dutch wasn't much worse than having it come up in Italian because I don't speak either language, so the 'user-friendly' location tracking was actively harmful either way.

Re:I just hate.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402306)

The 0.001% of people who aren't looking for local results can use another search engine. Isn't that what the web is for?

Re:I just hate.. (1)

abhi_beckert (785219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37405378)

Come on, wake up. Location is critical.

Lets say you search for "sony". Their main website is sony.co.jp... which is completely useless to anyone who doesn't speak japanese.

Fortunately, google knows this and gives me sony.com.au instead.

If you're looking for something in another location, tack that other location onto the end of your search query.

Re:I just hate.. (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402582)

And a Real Name can be extremely useful as well, AC, so we can reply to you better, track you better, make sure we know that you're not doing anything "dangerous", etc.

How about they just make it an opt-in system?

Re:I just hate.. (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402632)

So how does this relate to my post? I never mentioned location. I get that the main article is about location but the bottom line is Google has a long history of doing things of questionable legality until they are told not to. Just because they can figure out where you are doesn't mean they should until you opt-in. They are doing it both to make their service better but also because context specific ads pay better. Google will do anything they can to get more info about you so that your conversion rate will be higher and they can charge more for the ads.

A lot of it was accidental (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402254)

Google mapped SSIDs as a side project of driving their StreetView camera cars everywhere. If that had been all they'd done, they probably wouldn't have been bothered by the government, but as was widely reported, they also recorded a lot of actual Wifi user traffic at the same time, in addition to the SSIDs themselves. That really annoyed a lot of people, leading to government investigations into Google's data collection.

So this was a project that was well-known for not foreseeing really obvious stuff :-)

Re:I just hate.. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402616)

Because its not the government's job to enact laws by caveat. If it did we'd have a real problem on our hands. Laws are introduced as bills by citizens. The local (state, county, whatever) legislature then votes on those bills and they become laws. Didn't you people ever see School House Rock?

Re:I just hate.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402826)

..that this has to happen at the behest of a government agency. Why didn't google just foresee this was going to happen and implement it originally?

Because a corporation is going to try to get away with as much as possible to further its bottom line....

Re:I just hate.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402992)

..that this has to happen at the behest of a government agency. Why didn't google just foresee this was going to happen and implement it originally?

Greed

Re:I just hate.. (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37403044)

..that this has to happen at the behest of a government agency. Why didn't google just foresee this was going to happen and implement it originally?

Because nothing else involving public broadcasts of personal information works this way in the USA. For example, I'd like to opt out of ANPR - automatic license plate reading systems but I don't have that option short of not using my car (same as not using wifi).

Re:I just hate.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37403672)

Because this restriction is incredibly stupid, and you are stupid for wanting it.

If you broadcast clear text data on the public airwaves, everybody should be able to receive it and use it. Google is the least of your worries.

Seems unlikely (1)

pyrosine (1787666) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402048)

To say the least

Shouldn't they ask us to OPT IN? (2, Insightful)

mrnick (108356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402098)

It's our service shouldn't we be opting in rather than out? Opting out would somehow imply that it is their right to do this? Didn't they get in trouble once already for scraping people's wifi for their own gain?

Re:Shouldn't they ask us to OPT IN? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402198)

That would be inconvenient for them, it is so much easier for them, and they get more acceptance if they just don't bother to ask in the first place.

They have forgotten to ask if it is right. Does that make them evil, or just lazy?

Re:Shouldn't they ask us to OPT IN? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402816)

They have forgotten to ask if it is right. Does that make them evil, or just lazy?

Is it still evil if they ultimately use this information to create mesh wifi networks that support voip via Android handsets?

To be quite honest, I'm surprised Google hasn't already entered the wifi router market. All they need to do is re-brand a router, add in some QoS stuff for Android handsets, and package a SIP app in Android and you have just given the masses *free cell phone service.

I would be shitting my pants right now if I were a major telco executive. This is the meat and potatoes of the net-neutrality battle.

Re:Shouldn't they ask us to OPT IN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402228)

By making your SSID visible to the public, anyone can see it. Quit your bitching.

Power of default; info as a liability (1)

alispguru (72689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402358)

Information collecting companies love opt-out - they know that the vast majority of their contributors won't bother. Google isn't the only one - every financial company I deal with sends me "You can opt out of us sharing your information" brochures, safe in the knowledge that I won't bother calling the toll-free number and punching in my account ID. They encourage this by making it hard to tell whether you've opted out previously or not.

If my information is valuable to them, they should be required to ask me before using it for gain.

They should also be liable if they let my information out without my permission. These days, if a company sets you up for identity theft, all they have to do is say "Oops" and offer to flag your accounts in the credit score databases (which costs them next to nothing, and makes your life more difficult until the block is removed).

If the default was no sharing without permission, I guarantee there would be a line near the top of every account statement saying "You have not OPTED IN to our wonderful partner info sharing offer! Call 1-800-OPT-IN-PLEASE now for a special gift!"

Re:Shouldn't they ask us to OPT IN? (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37403302)

One could say you opted in by broadcasting your SSID and BSSID to the public street.

Re:Shouldn't they ask us to OPT IN? (2)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 2 years ago | (#37403644)

You're broadcasting. Your choice. How do I opt out of your router grabbing a channel and filling my airwaves?

Re:Shouldn't they ask us to OPT IN? (2)

The Raven (30575) | more than 2 years ago | (#37404940)

Imagine if you had a giant neon sign on top of your roof with your SSID on it, available for everyone within a quarter mile to see... and you got pissed when someone started keep track of the location of all of those neon signs. Maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't make something public if you want it to be private.

The WiFi spec doesn't require broadcasting your SSID. If you want it to be private, don't shout it out; stop shouting your SSID to the world, and disable SSID broadcast in your router settings.

Re:Shouldn't they ask us to OPT IN? (1)

abhi_beckert (785219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37405418)

If you are going to install a radio in your house, that sprays data in every direction, then you have no right to privacy.

You want security? Encrypt your network. That will keep all your data private.

If you don't even want anyone to know whether or not there is a wifi network in your house, then too bad! That's like saying you don't want anyone to know you have a chainsaw, when you've got it running 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Anyone nearby is going to know you've got one, and they have every right to tell other people about it.

Re:Shouldn't they ask us to OPT IN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37406130)

Believe me, opting out of Google's do-not-track thingy is much easier than opting out of mandatory national insurance, or mandatory organ donation upon your death.

For one, there is no paperwork and red tape to deter you.

Secondly, though I *really* value (what's left of and what's assumed to be) my online privacy, what's the worst thing that can happen if Google is tracking you? Ooh look, I just visited porn/piracy/bomb-making tutorial sites. In comparison, national insurance and organ donation affect you personally.

Always understand that Google is a media/advertising whore first, and a software/web search company a distant second. Google is just like a telemarketer, but instead of bombarding you with unsolicited cold calls, Google throws interest-based ads at you based on keywords.

Nothing personal, that's just business.

Sex wpith a shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402122)

and Michael SMith

What about Apple? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402150)

iOS based devices do the same thing. I imagine W7 based phones have a similar mechanism as well.

Re:What about Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37405946)

My understanding is that Apple uses a 3rd party service called "skyhook" and skyhook also uses MACs and SSIDs without asking permission.

It's always struck me weird that Google gets in hot water for this stuff, and skyhook is never mentioned...

How does one opt-out (3, Interesting)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402152)

How does one opt-out of something they have no idea they belong too? And didnt Google say the data they collected was by accident?

Re:How does one opt-out (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402338)

You are broadcasting something unencrypted into spectrum defined as shared. Of course you should have to opt-out.

So you also think everyone in the area should cover their ears when you talk so as not to collect your broadcasted message, unless you have opted-in to them being allowed to hear?

Re:How does one opt-out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402916)

Okay, that's good for my new business idea. It's about tracking the names, addresses, age, gender, pictures, etc. of the children of all Google employees -- just for some internal database. Of course, any Google employee who does not want his children to be tracked can easily opt out by going to some webpage and entering the personal data of their children.

Re:How does one opt-out (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402948)

How should i reply to your stupid and troll remark?

Re:How does one opt-out (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402554)

They intentionally grabbed the SSID and MAC addresses. They inadvertently grabbed non-encrypted data in the same packets (the default setting in the open-source software package they used).

Wi-Fi or GPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402240)

Make up your damn mind how to track us already.

Tracking List Of Things Not To Track (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402302)

In order to stop tracking the MAC address on my router, Google's going to have to keep track of the MAC address on my router. Got it.

Re:Tracking List Of Things Not To Track (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37403322)

No. In order to not use your router's MAC address to track other devices, Google's going to have to keep 'track' of the MAC address on your router.

If you don't like that, you should consider not broadcasting it to the public street.

Yeah but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402348)

Will google still tase you?

Seriously, who cares? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402462)

I'm all about privacy -- I always turn off every checkbox about "anonymous results will be submitted," etc., etc., but even I know my router's SSID is public. I don't care what happens to those on the outside of my network. :\

Re:Seriously, who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37402552)

It's the MAC address.

I guess the only slightly weird thing is that if you move house Google will know that you've moved.

Re:Seriously, who cares? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37403568)

I use an Android phone. They know this anyway. :P

Re:Seriously, who cares? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402576)

Most people don't understand how SSID broadcasting, network security, and encryption work, and also don't know that if they have an open network, not only are they sharing their bandwidth, but much of their data as well.

Re:Seriously, who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37403940)

You should care. Any scenario where someone could remotely obtain your router's MAC address can lead to that base stations' exact location on the planet, which would reveal your home address.

Here is a possible example:
If I am an attacker using XSS or a site I create myself, I can craft an attack that guesses your router's wireless gateway IP address, logs in to the web admin panel using the default credentials scrapes your router's MAC address and sends it to me.

Armed with that information, I can plug it into Google's location tracking API and pinpoint your exact street address!

Google:Our location services don't identify people (1)

theodp (442580) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402704)

"The wireless access point signals we use in our location services don't identify people..."
-Peter Fleischer, Global Privacy Counsel [blogspot.com] (9-13-2011)

Q. "But doesn't this information identify people?"
A. "SSIDs are often just the name of the router manufacturer or ISP with numbers and letters added, though some people do also personalize them."
--Peter Fleischer, Global Privacy Counsel [blogspot.com] (4-27-2010)

"What is the SSID for Google WiFi?
The SSID for the Google WiFi service in Mountain View is GoogleWiFi (case-sensitive).
The SSID for the WPA protected service is GoogleWiFiSecure (case-sensitive)"
--Google Wifi Help [google.com]

This makes me happy (1)

Hasai (131313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402708)

This particular Google 'service' always struck me as a stalker's wet-dream.

Re:This makes me happy (1)

dudpixel (1429789) | more than 2 years ago | (#37406310)

what?

When you enable network location services, do you even know what networks it uses to get your location?

This is about fixed wireless AP's, not your phone, or anything that actually gets the location.

Its about whether or not they can use your public wifi AP as a means of calculating someone's location. I'm pretty sure that someone wouldn't have any idea that the service was using your wifi signal strength, and they certainly wouldn't be able to identify you.

These same people would be able to see your wifi SSID by scanning nearby wireless networks anyway - and they can still do that even if you opt out of this Google thing. It doesn't save you much in terms of privacy...

I want to opt in (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 2 years ago | (#37402784)

I moved a few months ago, and now whenever my phone can see my AP but not get GPS, it puts me in the wrong place. I don't mind having my SSID/MAC in the database, but I'd like to be able to update it with the current location.

Re:I want to opt in (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 2 years ago | (#37403294)

Aha, that's it. I moved from the UK to Finland and took my AP with me; ever since I've got here, one of my apps has insisted on putting me at my UK address. I only ever use it at home, under two concrete floors... must try it somewhere else and see what it does.

Re:I want to opt in (1)

mpoulton (689851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37404710)

Now I get it! I was so confused about why, when at my new condo, my phone often thinks I'm near my old house. WTF, Google. There needs to be some more rapid means of updating this. It's been almost a year.

Terms of Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37403256)

My terms of service, for the ap I use, says that I own all derivitave works, including works tangentially related to any information you have gotten from me, via my AP, even if my information is bundled before analysis.
  Is this as legit as having an opt-out for a program you don't publicize or make any attempt to notify me of?

Honor??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37403278)

Google will honor the request until they decide to stop honoring it.

Randomized Mac Address Keep me off the l (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37405988)

I've got DD-WRT variant which I have programmed to randomize my mac address every so often. I've noticed that my MacBook Pro suddenly knew my location and realized it probably figured it out from one of the kids iSpy devices. I started randomizing the mac addresses and suddenly it didn't know where I was again. Of course if you have an iPhone it seems to pick it back up again in a few days. I also make sure Android is setup to never use WiFi geolocation. However if you read the fine print of the licenses you agree to let them track everything in return for using the services.

Your mapping provider can still track your IP address by just looking at which tiles you download. You can correlate the IP addresses used in Google|Yahoo|Bing Maps to the tiles requested and get a pretty accurate guess at where that IP address is. Not so useful when using a desktop, but mobile clients logs can be analyzed to see you requesting the map tiles at a set rate as you travel. So even without wifi they can get a lot from www logs.

Just some thoughts.

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