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you dont opt in to webcrawling (4, Insightful)

lemur3 (997863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059666)

you use a special robots.txt file to opt out of websurfing.. why should this be any different?

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (5, Interesting)

Lost+Found (844289) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059714)

I basically agree with your point aside from the fact that you don't have to change your domain name to add a _norobots.com suffix in order to opt out of web crawling.

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059962)

Sorta this.

But it fails because changing an AP name isn't much of a pain in the ass, even if it is changing hundreds of computers too (which should be painless if you set it up right in the first place!)
Changing a domain name is a much harder process. (not hard, though)

Adding _nomap is a pretty trivial thing.
However, I'd rather it have been something smaller and less likely to ever appear in an SSID, since they are limited to 32 characters.
I don't think there is any rules against what characters can go in SSIDs, but it probably varies.
While not everyone typically uses the full range of fields for most things, some people do use it for very specific identification needs, or for stats in the case of game servers, website titles (such as alert counters), whatever.

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060276)

The last place where I used to work used lots (over 25 per location) of barcode scanners that work over WiFi, and runs 24/7 shifts for order picking, loading and unloading. Changing the SSID may not entail much if you have a centralized management system, but these scanners have to be configured by hand through a touchscreen.

So no, changing SSIDs is not "always trivial". I would have much preferred if they just used the broadcast flag for it (i.e. don't catalog hidden SSIDs)

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (3, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060892)

Not nearly the same situation either. When you put something on the web, you make it accessible to millions/billions of people. Your home AP is accessible to maybe 2 or 3 houses.

You shouldn't have to 'opt out' of this. It should be opt in.

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059730)

because this method enforces me to change how my AP is visible by its users
they don't force you to change your web address to opt out from crawling.
you'd have to update all machines using that AP to use the new network name?
they really think themselves as master of the univers

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059792)

How bout this, make your AP not broadcast it's name, period.

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (1)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059848)

Breaks 802.11 specification.

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059912)

Nonsense. The specification allows you to decide not to broadcast your SSID, and virtually every router allows this option.

Why shouldn't I be able to read information that you publicly broadcast? And if I can do it, why shouldn't google be able to?

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060140)

uh, do you know anything about networking?

Not broadcasting your SSID causes *problems*. Parts of network detection and certain devices/software have problems with turning off your SSID. It also doesn't add anything as far as security, not even remotely.

So adding _nomap sounds pretty reasonable to me, aside from that SSID's are not the best of concepts as they are implemented anyway.

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060532)

Reading my public SSID isn't a problem. Using it, and the details, is.

So you can read my SSID, but cracking my security and publishing the location isn't necessarily.

Of course, our courts in the U.S. are hell-bent on stripping the populace of any rights at all. This alone is reason enough to throw them all out.

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (2)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060884)

I'm not sure why you want to limit my rights to publish the location of something that you broadcast to the public. I'm not cracking it, and I'm not even trying to log into it. I just capture the beacons and note the likely location based on GPS triangulation. Why do you consider that so private that I cannot publish it even though you're making it possible for me to see and locate it, especially when you accept that it's not an issue that I can see it?

Re:you dont opt in to webcrawling (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059768)

Robots.txt is a fine solution because website owners and hosters are schooled on it and they benefit from understanding it. My neighbor Cletus has no direct incentive to find out about this (even if it is in his perceived best interest), and requires him to rename his wireless network from something clever to something, well, Googly.

Differences (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059940)

  1. Robots.txt is hidden from view -- users never have to see it. Adding a suffix to a hotspot name is not hidden from view, everyone has to see it, and it becomes an annoyance.
  2. Websites are not related to home addresses. We are talking about physical locations, not some server on the Internet, and in most cases those locations are a person's home.

Neither of these is a particularly convincing argument for technical people, of course. I do not care about my ESSID and I know that radio transmissions are not in any way private. The average, uneducated citizen is different -- they expect wifi to be private to their home, not collected into a massive database somewhere. The FCC designed the 802.11b/g/n standard with this in mind; that is why it is unlicensed and at such low power levels (compare with licensed radio operations, where everything has to be explicitly registered and authorized).

Really, I am on the fence on this issue. One side of me says that this should be opt-in, and the other says that people should know better. In either case, the problem boils down to technical ignorance.

reality vs expectation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060134)

"The average, uneducated citizen is different -- they expect wifi to be private to their home"

They do? I don't think so. People understand that signals propagate over distances. The tune in their FM radio or broadcast TV or make a cell phone call. They perfectly well know that their ESSID is broadcast beyond their house.

They just don't (generally) care. Anyway, information wants to be free. If you shout something from the rooftops, don't bitch when somebody else overhears. It's the simple nature of reality, and trying to legislate against the nature of reality ALWAYS causes far more problems than it solves.

Re:reality vs expectation (3, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060326)

I think people would be shocked that wifi and mobile phones use radio waves. I think they expect it to be "digital". If you said "propagate over distances" you'll have lost them at propagate.

Damn your AP has some big range... (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059698)

_nomapo of course. Just sayin.

Not really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059756)

You can't be mad at google for receiving the transmission you are broadcasting into the air. End of story. You can hide your SSID or use this method if you do not want to appear, but otherwise there's nothing wrong with receiving transmissions that are being sent out there anyway.

Re:Not really... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059802)

Right well our cell phone calls get broadcast all over the air too should google have the right to drive a van around recording those and uploading them to their database?

Fuck you google, boycott google

Google = big brother

Google = 1984

Google = dont give a shit about privacy

Re:Not really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060102)

Your cell phone calls are encrypted. If you've got half a brain, so is your wifi traffic.

Re:Not really... (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060266)

Not necessarily. Secondly, gsm routinely drops to unencrypted calls as well.

For Facebook and Google+ (4, Interesting)

klingens (147173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059794)

Everyone who doesn't want to get tracked by Facebook please change his name to Joe_NoFacebook Smith. Everyone who doesn't want to get tracked by Google +, add a "noPlus" instead. And everyone who doesn't want to get tagged by the Facebook picture recognition will please use a neon green colored "F" tattoo on their forehead.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Is anyone at Google still thinking anything? Do no Evil my ass.

Re:For Facebook and Google+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060174)

smart :)

Re:For Facebook and Google+ (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060426)

Hello,

I changed my name to Peter_NoFacebook Jones, but now I also want to opt out of Google+.

I tried various iterations of the following:

Peter_NoFacebook_noPlus Jones
Peter_NoFacebook_NoPlus Jones
Peter_noPlus_NoFacebook Jones
Peter_NoPlus_NoFacebook Jones ...but none of them seem to be working.

Is the "noPlus" flag case-sensitive, and is the ordering specific to either Facebook or Google? What is the delimeter for the Google+ opt-out.

What should I name my daughter? Are these flags compatible with feminine names? I'd like to do this for the rest of my family, by default. Does it matter if I add the flag to our last name? ...I guess they'll have to change their names if they want to opt back in.

Re:For Facebook and Google+ (1)

clemdoc (624639) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060452)

So that'll be Joe_NoFacebooknoPlus Smith? No Facebook, No Plus? Nice title for Bob 'in Moms basement' Marley.

If you don't want your SSID to be mappable (5, Informative)

samael (12612) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059806)

Then don't broadcast it!

They aren't doing any snooping on your private data here, just noting where different SSIDs are broadcasting. Unless your SSID name consists of your name, DOB, mother's maiden name, etc. you have nothing to worry about.

Re:If you don't want your SSID to be mappable (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060114)

My SSID does consist of my name, so that if my neighbors have a problem with my wi-fi, they know to contact me.

I'm fine with everyone within wi-fi range knowing my name and where my house is (since they already do). I'm less fine with my name and house being pin-pointed on a map for everyone to see.

Re:If you don't want your SSID to be mappable (4, Informative)

samael (12612) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060154)

But it's not. Nobody can look on a map and see your name, If they're standing by your house and can receive the signal then they can tell where they are, but that's all.

(Unless Google are now publishing the complete lookup table, in which case I feel somewhat different.)

Re:If you don't want your SSID to be mappable (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060382)

Google might not publish this, but others already do [wigle.net] .

Re:If you don't want your SSID to be mappable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060516)

Google might not publish this, but others already do [wigle.net] .

*sigh* Yes, yes, and obviously, because some unrelated companies are doing this, it clearly means Google will too by... um... osmosis. Yeah, let's go with that. Osmosis.

Re:If you don't want your SSID to be mappable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060194)

I don't think they actually work on the SSID. I'm fairly sure they use the router's MAC address. Some SSIDs are so common they would be useless for mapping.

Re:If you don't want your SSID to be mappable (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060668)

They're not mapping SSIDs (not unique), they're mapping MAC addresses (unique), which I can find easily even if you're not broadcasting an SSID.

Re:If you don't want your SSID to be mappable (1)

poolecl (170874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060876)

If you are not broadcasting then they cannot map you! (Obviously if you are broadcasting a signal without an SSID you are still broadcasting.)

But should you expect privacy when you are sending a wireless signal out beyond the confines of your control?

Re:If you don't want your SSID to be mappable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060674)

> Then don't broadcast it

Sure thing, that's fine so long as you don't mind breaking the functionality of groups of devices such as Android phones that have issues with suppressed SSIDs.

Opt-in (4, Insightful)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059818)

Everything should be opt-in. Never opt-out.

Re:Opt-in (3, Insightful)

Hermanas (1665329) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059904)

Is it okay with you if I reply to your comment?

Re:Opt-in (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060658)

He won't answer that because you didn't give him permission to.

Re:Opt-in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059976)

What about organ donation?

Re:Opt-in (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060274)

Especially organ donation.

Re:Opt-in (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060292)

Organ donation is opt-in so what was your point?

Re:Opt-in (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060710)

A lot of people think organ donation should be opt-out.

Re:Opt-in (2)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060336)

AC has a good point -- the vast majority of people are NOT organ donors in localities where it is opt-in, vs. the vast majority participating when it is opt-out. It is really hard to argue that this is not a good thing. You could, however, argue that it reflects VERY poorly on us that we need organ donation to be opt-out before we see a large number of organ donors...

Re:Opt-in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060656)

You opt-in when you broadcast your SSID for the entire world to see.

Re:Opt-in (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060868)

Everything should be opt-in. Never opt-out.

I would be fine with opt-out if all it took was appending "_notax" or "_freeman" to my name.

mAoD up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059826)

Yes (3, Insightful)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059836)

It should require an explicit opt-in.

Why do you care? (5, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059844)

While it is nice of Google to offer this, I don't really understand why people care. The SID was always public information as are the location of the AP. So to then turn around and accuse Google of invade your privacy by recording what essentially you've told your AP to shout from the rooftops seems a little contradictory to me. It isn't like SIDs are personal or in any way linked to you as an individual or even your surfing activity.

So as I said, nice of Google to do this, but I'd question what anyone who opted out really hopes to accomplish by doing so...

Re:Why do you care? (3, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059920)

While it is nice of Google to offer this, I don't really understand why people care. The SID was always public information as are the location of the AP. So to then turn around and accuse Google of invade your privacy by recording what essentially you've told your AP to shout from the rooftops seems a little contradictory to me. It isn't like SIDs are personal or in any way linked to you as an individual or even your surfing activity. So as I said, nice of Google to do this, but I'd question what anyone who opted out really hopes to accomplish by doing so...

An SSID of "I hate Islam" might work well in the leafy suburbs of Surrey, but you might not want the location broadcast world wide

Re:Why do you care? (3, Insightful)

LubosD (909058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060042)

but you might not want the location broadcast world wide

Sorry, where can I download the complete database of AP locations? Because as far as I know, the database "read access" works the other way around. Your phone submits a list of APs around you to Google's servers and in turn you get your approximate location. I don't understand what the problem here is.

Re:Why do you care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060576)

And I'm pretty sure they work by MAC address, not SSID anyway. Otherwise you'd show up everywhere simultaneously every time you got near a "linksys" ssid.

Re:Why do you care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060250)

Then change it? What kind of moron writes this and doesn't realize the obvious solution. I could've done the same thing as Google to a smaller scale and this wouldn't even make the news.

Re:Why do you care? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060344)

Then change it?

"I hate Islam _nomap" it is then.

Re:Why do you care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060698)

Not only does Google not have any reason to broadcast SSIDs worldwide, they don't even have much reason to record them (other than this feature, of course). They use the BSSID for location triangulation, because it's unique. The service would hardly be as useful if it had to triangulate based only on seeing three APs named "linksys".

Re:Why do you care? (2)

vagabond_gr (762469) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060702)

"Public information => no need for privacy" is a very typical logical fallacy. Privacy is not a black-or-white thing, categorizing things into private/public misses the point.

For example: when you move out of your home, your location is public information. Anyone who can see you knows that you're there. Similarly, your "image" is public information, anyone can take a picture of you. This does not violates your privacy, as long as it happens by random people in the street. If someone tracks your every movement, takes a picture every minute and publishes this information on the net, your privacy is clearly violated.

I don't care that much about the SID thing, but people have every right to feel that their privacy is violated by automatic collection of data, even if the data are "public". Privacy has a lot to do with who has access to the data, what it does with it and even how easy the access is.

Considering the value to society... (2)

mebollocks (798866) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059856)

... then it should be opt-out.

Re:Considering the value to society... (4, Insightful)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060306)

You have the right answer. Nobody seems to think about the greater good any more. Large corporations and governments already have access to all of this data. Google is just making it available for regular people in an incredibly useful way. It's perfectly valid to have problems with this, but don't ignore the benefits as well.

Re:Considering the value to society... (1)

mebollocks (798866) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060498)

In this regard I find it telling that the word "Idiot" was originally coined [wikipedia.org] to describe these people.

Opt-in is not an option (4, Interesting)

mikeplokta (223052) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059886)

There's no point saying "It should be opt-in", because it can't possibly work on an opt-in basis. There's no way to get a sufficient number of opted-in wireless access points. The available options are "Opt-out is OK" or "The service shouldn't exist".

Re:Opt-in is not an option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059956)

There's no point saying "It should be opt-in", because it can't possibly work on an opt-in basis. There's no way to get a sufficient number of opted-in wireless access points. The available options are "Opt-out is OK" or "The service shouldn't exist".

...And the score is Rational Thinking - 1, Kneejerk Reactions - 1,000,000.

Re:Opt-in is not an option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060242)

OK, then the service should not exist. Simple enough.

Re:Opt-in is not an option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060388)

So we remove a highly useful service because of a handful of tinfoil hats? No thanks.

Re:Opt-in is not an option (4, Insightful)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060332)

There's no way to get a sufficient number of opted-in wireless access points.

Boohoo? Since when is that information owed to Google?

Re:Opt-in is not an option (1)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060456)

You successfully read 2 of the 3 sentences in his post. If you read the third, you'll see that he has no opinions stated in this post whatsoever.

Re:Opt-in is not an option (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060514)

Since you broadcasted outside of your house, and they drove by. If they had to trespass to acquire this information it would be arguably yours.

Re:Opt-in is not an option (2)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060774)

It's not owed to Google, but that's not the point. The point is that Google is taking public information and turning it into a service that is useful to ordinary people. You may disagree, but personally I think that's socially useful and I for one will not be opting out.

Re:Opt-in is not an option (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060574)

The available options are "Opt-out is OK" or "The service shouldn't exist".

Then the service shouldn't exist. Simple enough.

But then again, there may be a third option you're not considering. What are these location services used for? Checking into restaurants, tagging pictures with locations, checking the weather, etc. Where do I do these things? Mostly when I'm out on the town, or at home. So, make deals with Starbucks, AT&T, Barnes and Noble, etc. to use their SSIDs in the database. These companies have vast networks of wifi hotspots so it should cover a good deal of high traffic ground, especially in cities and urban areas. Then allow the user the option to store the location of his own home or work network locally on the phone to fill in the gaps.

Re:Opt-in is not an option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060618)

They could do EXACTLY what they are doing now, except the SSID would read "yes" instead of "no". That would make opt in an option.

What about other mapping systems? (1)

funfail (970288) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059910)

What happens if I want to hide my access point from Apple, Google and Skyhook at once? Should I name by AP as

LINKSYS_NOMAP_NOAPPLE_NOSKYHOOK

or will this be a global suffix?

Re:What about other mapping systems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059984)

They seem to want _nomap as a standard for everyone.

Re:What about other mapping systems? (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060012)

My guess that they didn't make it nogoogle so that Apple and the other mappers can respect it if they wish. Personally, I think broadcasting your SSID is opting in and this is not required.

Re:What about other mapping systems? (1)

dn15 (735502) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060322)

What happens if I want to hide my access point from Apple, Google and Skyhook at once? Should I name by AP as

LINKSYS_NOMAP_NOAPPLE_NOSKYHOOK

or will this be a global suffix?

From TFA:

Finally, because other location providers will also be able to observe these opt-outs, we hope that over time the “_nomap” string will be adopted universally. This would help benefit all users by providing everyone with a unified opt-out process regardless of location provider.

I don't really mind (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059946)

I don't care that much if Google maps my AP. Because if someone is lost out where I am, they're going to need all the help they can get.

information wants to be free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060032)

It should not be "opt in" - that's an illusion: someone else can just ignore it.

Information wants to be free, remember? If you don't want someone to detect your signal, don't broadcast it into space where others can receive it.

_nomap = search me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060062)

I think this just makes it more visible. If you turn off the AP name broadcast it obviously doesn't work and Google can still see the BSSID regardless.

At any rate, the correct way for explicit opt-out is to give Google the BSSID to delete and allow Google to not add the BSSID to the location database. Simple and less stupid. Works like donotcall lists, and only effective if the company adheres to it.

Unfortunately, there is no way to get the BSSID from a AP unless you use something like wireshark. That's a little to hard for average joe. Here's a better idea that Google can endorse... Let AP owners click a "Prevent this AP from being used in location services" and have it tell google to add/remove itself when settings are changed. This does nothing for a lot of the established AP's, but future ones can do it out of the box. Wireless didn't really take off until around 2005 or so, and many of these devices are being replaced by ISP-provided locked-down ADSL/DOCSIS modems that the user can't make any adjustments to other than the broadcast name and password to access.

Paranoia much? (2)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060138)

Why in the heck do you people care if Google maps your AP's location? It's not like this information can be used for anything but it's intended purpose: wifi location services.

Making it opt-in would make it useless as people won't care enough to opt-in.

This isn't a privacy issue at all. The tinfoil-hat crowd really needs to get a life.

Re:Paranoia much? (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060224)

Besides, changing my SSID would require WAY too much work in reconnecting all wireless devices.

Life opt in (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060170)

Please append "_nokill" after your name if you would like to avoid a public domain applied death.

oops...not the same? Says who?

You are BROADCASTING your SSID. (4, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060172)

Google has every right to use your SSID for geolocation purposes. The privacy whiners all seem to conveniently forget that when you operate a wifi access point, you are BROADCASTING your SSID to anyone within range. It is the same as if you switched on an AM or FM radio transmitter in your home or business and continuously spoke into the microphone: "My network is named kitty-net ... my network is named kitty-net ... my network is named kitty-net ..."

If you don't want something known to anyone within range, you might consider not BROADCASTING it. Every access point in the world has the ability to shut off its SSID announcements.

Re:You are BROADCASTING your SSID. (1)

CimmerianX (2478270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060218)

Simply not broadcasting your SSID will not stop the techniques used by Google, Apple, and Skyhook from mapping your WIFI MAC Address, which is what they collect.

Re:You are BROADCASTING your SSID. (1)

beantherio (922523) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060272)

I am not broadcasting my ssid for Google to pick it up. I am broadcasting it for myself. How hard is that to understand?

Re:You are BROADCASTING your SSID. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060350)

I'm pretty sure FCC regulations disagree with your views on radio transmission. If you don't like how people use what you are broadcasting, you are free to not broadcast.

Re:You are BROADCASTING your SSID. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060566)

tell that to the military/police

intercepting ANY radio transmission "not intended for you" is illegal, ask a HAM radio operator

Re:You are BROADCASTING your SSID. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060358)

That's like saying you didn't put those photos on Facebook for everyone to see, but just for you. Yes, those photos. The ones you accidentally marked Public that caused your family to disown you.

Re:You are BROADCASTING your SSID. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060520)

I am not broadcasting my ssid for Google to pick it up. I am broadcasting it for myself. How hard is that to understand?

"Broadcasting" is the act of sending something out into the ether for anybody to hear. How hard is that to understand?

Line your walls with lead (2, Insightful)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060568)

Prevent your SSID from going outside of your property and you won't have a problem, then.

Re:You are BROADCASTING your SSID. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060786)

I am not broadcasting my ssid for Google to pick it up. I am broadcasting it for myself. How hard is that to understand?

I really think you need to look up the work "broadcast".

Re:You are BROADCASTING your SSID. (4, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060642)

Every access point in the world has the ability to shut off its SSID announcements.

If you're not broadcasting your SSID, Google will still map it. If you don't want them to, you'll actually have to broadcast an SSID, and append _nomap to it, since anyone can find your router's MAC address even if you're not broadcasting your SSID.

Mobile access points? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060234)

How does google cope with all the mobile access points in things like ferries, trains, coaches, buses, trams, MiFi ? Surely those shouldn't be geolocated at all.

Even the router I gave my parents, now 100km from the location when they originally drove past my house gives Google's geolocation problems.

Re:Mobile access points? (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060620)

Mathematics.

Not sure why it matters (1)

dn15 (735502) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060300)

I value privacy as much as the next person but I don't see why this matters. Network names do not give away anything personal unless you *choose* to put something personal into the SSID. And if you do that you have "opted in" to broadcasting your personal information. Or am I missing something here?

Re:Not sure why it matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060848)

Nope, not missing anything here. Just the tinfoil-hat crowd looking to blame corporations for all their problems.

Re:Not sure why it matters (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060866)

I value privacy as much as the next person but I don't see why this matters. Network names do not give away anything personal unless you *choose* to put something personal into the SSID. And if you do that you have "opted in" to broadcasting your personal information. Or am I missing something here?

I think it's even more than that. I think Google's database only considers the MAC addresses of the access points, not the SSIDs. So they don't honestly care about any personal information in the SSID.

Opt-in is a harder problem (1)

achowe (829564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060330)

Most consumers would not know how to login nor modify their WiFi AP settings.
Probably most wouldn't care nor understand. Only security concious power users
would understand and would do what was necessary to opt-out or not broadcast
their SSID. Frankly if you don't want to be mapped, don't broadcast SSID.

Hidden SSID is not the Answer... (2)

CimmerianX (2478270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060338)

Not broadcasting your SSID is not going to keep Google, Apple, Skyhook, etc... from learning your Wifi MAC address and mapping it. The best answer to this is to manually define your Wifi MAC address. Many consumer based routers let you specify a specific mac. So does DD-WRT. So everyone who doesn't like this idea shoud just change their MAC address to a random address from the DB from another country such as DE:AD:BE:EF:13:37. This MAC address geolocates to Latitude: 44.4899982 Longitude: 11.3569865 Piazza di Porta Maggiore, 2-4 40125 Bologna, Italy.

Re:Hidden SSID is not the Answer... (1)

qubezz (520511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060818)

Rotating your AP's MAC every hour should do the trick...

Publically broadcasted info (5, Funny)

Nanosphere (1867972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060352)

My SSID is:

Nanosphere'); Drop
Table SSIDs;--

Re:Publically broadcasted info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060490)

I would be shocked if Google doesn't sanitize their inputs.

Dont broadcast your ssid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060422)

...

The Best Solution There Is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060552)

WiFi based geolocation is extremely useful. Who cares if Google knows where an access point with a random MAC address physically is. I am broadcasting that information anyway so I obviously don't care. I don't even care if they record my SSID (which I don't think they do) because, again, I choose to broadcast that. I don't really see what the privacy concern is here. Google aren't snooping on anyone's private data (at least now they have fixed that software glitch) so it is no worse than someone writing down what you say when you yell it in the street.

The SSID isn't actually used by the service (4, Informative)

kakris (126307) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060634)

Just to clarify what seems to confuse some people here, the actual service doesn't use the SSID for location, it uses the MAC address. They're using the SSID to allow you to opt out, but when someone submits WIFI info for location, they're sending the mac address of the station, not the SSID. MAC addresses are unique (or at least they're supposed to be. I'm looking at you Shanzai.) SSIDs are not unique. If they used SSIDs, you'd never be able to figure out where "linksys" or "netgear" actually are.

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