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ahmad

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#62607 10-Jun-2010 15:58
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Just curious - when Street View was proposed there was a whole raft of noise about privacy issues/being seen in the street/doing dodgy things/etc.

But I can't recall anyone saying anything about "what about if they rip Wi-Fi network information?".

Did anyone actually come out with the concern that the Google cars might war drive through neighbourhoods?

Just curious if anyone "called it".

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eXDee
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  #340263 10-Jun-2010 16:05
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I kinda "called it" in a random discussion with a mate about street view several months back, was just an odd comment about wondering if they collected other data such as wifi and cell reception etc, the basis being that google isnt going to drive around the whole world just for pictures which will get out of date reasonably quickly. Actually found it quite funny when they announced this was exactly what they did.

I like the idea somewhat because of its potential, a handheld device sends a list of AP MAC addresses and signal strengths in range to google's servers, and it sends back a location resulting in very fast A-GPS. That was the first use for it i assumed anyway.

I don't see how them knowing the MAC and SSID of my AP is going to be a significant privacy concern, you divulge more personal information about yourself to them when you use their search and other services.

Other people seem to be more worried though. And yes i'm saying this in full awareness of what information google retains about people, personally i'm not too concerned about this specific aspect however.

ahmad

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  #340273 10-Jun-2010 16:23
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What happens when we all change our SSIDs? How does that affect Google algorithms?

 
 
 
 


eXDee
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  #340278 10-Jun-2010 16:32
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I was making a guess with A-GPS. I have no idea if they will do this.
But it wont be SSID based, it'll be based on MAC address, which is a unique hardware address which can't be changed without a bit of hacking (and no one is really going to bother doing it for an AP).

The problem is the data will get out of date due to people moving house, selling or upgrading their AP's etc.

patatrat
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  #340290 10-Jun-2010 16:47
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eXDee: I was making a guess with A-GPS. I have no idea if they will do this.
But it wont be SSID based, it'll be based on MAC address, which is a unique hardware address which can't be changed without a bit of hacking (and no one is really going to bother doing it for an AP).

The problem is the data will get out of date due to people moving house, selling or upgrading their AP's etc.


The data for a specific one will. But with all of these things, you use multiple points to provide a location. If the device can see 3 APs it knows in a street in wellington, and a 4th that should be in Auckland (coz the owners just moved down), then the system will assume the 4th is out of place  and ignore it. 

With any of these systems, it also requires frequent refresh of data. You can't just do one pass, and then assume it will be good for 10 years.

If I was google, I would let the users do the reporting - send location and nearby MAC addresses captured from android phones to google and let them verify and create the maps. 

oxnsox
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  #340305 10-Jun-2010 17:05
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patatrat: (edit....) If I was google, I would let the users do the reporting - send location and nearby MAC addresses captured from android phones to google and let them verify and create the maps. 


Don't they do this already if you enable the option in Maps??
And if they do it's still the same issue.

StreetView, I believe, was an application looking or a customer....  Google could afford to fund the drive program, collect the data, create the database, and see where it goes.  Re-driving will have to have cost justification. 

FYI theres been at least 2 other companies run similar vehicles around NZ, but they are doing it to improve Map databases they own or have access to. There is no evidence that suggests Google has applied its data in this manner.

markh14
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  #340405 10-Jun-2010 20:18
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Guys I don't think the SSID and MAC address are the crimes google is alleged to have committed. Read

http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/3798196/Google-will-cooperate-fully-with-investigation

"The admission sparked fears Google intercepted personal emails, passwords, personal banking details and even web browsing histories at home addresses."

Maybe what google did is connect to open unprotected wifi access points and sniffed data accidently.

Has anyone in New Zealand actually made a complaint to the Privacy commissioner? A mate of mine was told for something different that he had to make a formal complaint to the Privacy commissioner to investigate. I wonder how a complainant would know that google intercepted their wifi info though.

When you load Windows XP and search for wifi networks you can see people's SSID so if that was illegal then everyone who searches for wifi hotspots is guilty.

nickb800
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  #340454 10-Jun-2010 22:28
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markh14:

Maybe what google did is connect to open unprotected wifi access points and sniffed data accidently.


This is the crux of the issue to me. Recording mac addresses of APs, fair enough, im okay with that. They will have designed the code with that purpose in mind.
BUT I see on stuff.co.nz today they again refer to the threat of google knowing peoples passwords etc, which says to me packet sniffing. If it is true, then why? Such small threads of data would be essentially useless to google, but obviously very sensitive to the users concerned. Why would they go ahead and packet sniff then?
Doesnt make sense to me.

 
 
 
 


ahmad

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  #340475 10-Jun-2010 23:22
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Google knows best.

richms
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  #340488 11-Jun-2010 00:28
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this should be a wakeup call about using open networks and shared password protected networks with other users, not an attack at google.




Richard rich.ms

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  #340495 11-Jun-2010 00:46
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nickb800:
markh14:

Maybe what google did is connect to open unprotected wifi access points and sniffed data accidently.


This is the crux of the issue to me. Recording mac addresses of APs, fair enough, im okay with that. They will have designed the code with that purpose in mind.
BUT I see on stuff.co.nz today they again refer to the threat of google knowing peoples passwords etc, which says to me packet sniffing. If it is true, then why? Such small threads of data would be essentially useless to google, but obviously very sensitive to the users concerned. Why would they go ahead and packet sniff then?
Doesnt make sense to me.


they must have drove very slowly everywhere. the tv report didnt state what data they were 'taking' from uprotected networks.  perhaps it is just SSIDs and router make/models which are publically broadcast anyway, but elements being left out to sensationalise the story?

I guess there is a privacy concern if you labelled your wifi ssid as "joe_bloggs_male_555-1234" .  If so, perhaps a stupidity issue too :P




freitasm
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  #340527 11-Jun-2010 09:00
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patatrat: If I was google, I would let the users do the reporting - send location and nearby MAC addresses captured from android phones to google and let them verify and create the maps.


They already do. Read the T&Cs of Google Maps Mobile. They even collect the battery level on your device every moment.

eXDee: The problem is the data will get out of date due to people moving house, selling or upgrading their AP's etc.


It won't, because people are using Google Maps Mobile, which collects SSID/MAC data already.

markh14: Maybe what google did is connect to open unprotected wifi access points and sniffed data accidently.


Google already admitted, almost a month ago, that they were collecting more than SSID/MAC. They say it was accidental, but new information surfaced that the whole stream of information collected was stored in HDDs, not only the SSID/MAC.

Regs: they must have drove very slowly everywhere. the tv report didnt state what data they were 'taking' from uprotected networks.  perhaps it is just SSIDs and router make/models which are publically broadcast anyway, but elements being left out to sensationalise the story?

I guess there is a privacy concern if you labelled your wifi ssid as "joe_bloggs_male_555-1234" .  If so, perhaps a stupidity issue too :P


As above, it wasn't only SSID/MAC.

This story is going for more than a month now, Google already admitted collecting more data than it needed to actually create the database for the Google Location API, and you guys collect your informaton from Stuff?





 

 

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oxnsox
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  #340532 11-Jun-2010 09:37
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markh14: Maybe what google did is connect to open unprotected wifi access points and sniffed data accidently.

There is never a Tui Billboard around when you need it....

VinLew
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  #341040 12-Jun-2010 20:17
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You can't really throw up a huge fuss and rage against Google when you were the one who left your network unsecured in the first place.
"What goes around, comes around."
If Google can drive past and pick up your "private" data, then goodness knows what your nosy neighbor could be doing, or that dodgy old honda parked outside.

ahmad

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  #341065 12-Jun-2010 21:44
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OT @VinLew how do you find your XT speeds from your T-stick in Dunedin?

VinLew
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  #341101 13-Jun-2010 01:09
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I'm using a tethered R6, and find the speeds are really good, though they appear much faster on the computer vs. my phone. The only thing is that (and yes, it is a major factor) from what I know the phone uses usb 1.1. I could do more speedtests in the main city (and test 2100 only performance) but I'm 15 and way to broke to buy a laptop (screw the school letting me try use one of theirs.) I have 25% to 75% reception at the area I tested in, but the current firmware on my phone is randomly crashing and showing faults (and I can't connect it to the computer at all as of yesterday [ displaying 0000 as the VID and PID in device manager] ).

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