Google no longer records Wi-Fi information

Google has finally admitted that they will no longer use their Street View cars to snap up details of users' wi-fi networks that it passes along the way. Google had stated that they only used the data for geolocation tasks to show where a user was based.

However, they will continue to use some of their software that tracks you, such as My Location for similar tasks as well as using mobile phone data for the same thing.

The news that Google’s Street View cars was picking up user wi-fi data on its journeys caused outrage amongst privacy campaigners when details about it first leaked, despite Google saying that it wasn’t being used for malicious means. They did admit that the cars were mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open wifi networks.

Google originally blamed the collection on an old piece of legacy code that had been used in its Street View cars that has now been removed.

CNet quoted Candian privacy commissioner Jennifer Stodart’s report on the incident as the source of the news. The report made note that Google no longer collects data and have no further plans to do so.

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SOOOOOOOOOOOO Dumb. People fear what they don't know or understand. I dont care if google drove by my house and got some packets off "Stop having loud sex or be reported" as my access point is secured with a 40 something digit WPA2 key. You guys need to relax, if you're using no encryption you deserve someone running airecrack-ng on your network and then C&A or ettercap to grab your passwords....google grabbing wifi data is equivelent to someone running past me while I'm talking and having them only hear the words " I can".....they aren't gonna know the entire conversation.

FUD....gonna destroy mankind.

I don't see how driving a car.... a moving vehicle would allow that much data to be gathered.... sure they could get a snapshot... but if they are picking this info up, so is your neighbor. and if you care... why the hell isn;t your wifi network properly encrypted? or am i totally overlooking something here. i think they made a mistake disabling it...

They say that they took only a lil package, I don't believe that... and Julius that is no ordinary car with a 300 dollar laptop moving @ match speed, with the right equip you can take tons of info and drive like nothing happened

Rock-Lee said,
They say that they took only a lil package, I don't believe that... and Julius that is no ordinary car with a 300 dollar laptop moving @ match speed, with the right equip you can take tons of info and drive like nothing happened

have you ever try keeping a wireless network while you were driving...
and like it's been said you have bigger concern than a google car with 10-30 packet of your information if your network is not secured...

NesTle said,

have you ever try keeping a wireless network while you were driving...
and like it's been said you have bigger concern than a google car with 10-30 packet of your information if your network is not secured...

I've tried before and it's damn near impossible. Couldn't hold it worth anything.

It's not that hard to conceive. They needed something from the header of the packets right? So they capture a packet, and then process the header for their geolocation database, right? So either way, they'd still be capturing a packet. What they did was, however, save the entire packet instead of just the header. As a programmer it's really not that hard to conceive that someone did that.
Besides, what kind of super important information can be taken from a single unencrypted WiFi packet from a moving car?

Exactly. The base unit you can capture in WiFi is a 802.11 frame. That frame contains the header and data...so its bound to collect data. Why people choose to broadcast their unencrypted information is their problem and not Google's.
Sucks that Google will stop this, as WiFi geolocation is very good in dense urban centres.

They did admit that the cars were mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open wifi networks.

I love that line, mistakenly, and people believe it, thats the worst part.
a packet sniffing WiFi tool cannot mistakenly be added to a photographic car....
and using it for Geolocation is f*cking bullsh*t, they cant sniff who they are without using their network

Shadowzz said,

I love that line, mistakenly, and people believe it, thats the worst part.
a packet sniffing WiFi tool cannot mistakenly be added to a photographic car....
and using it for Geolocation is f*cking bullsh*t, they cant sniff who they are without using their network

You are aware that those "photographic cars" do way more than photography, right? They also collect cell tower information (MCC,MNC,LAC,CID, signal) and capture all WiFi frames.
You are aware that WiFi doesn't require you to "use" a network in order to intercept data. All Google does is capture a frame per access point, which is used for geolocation. If that frame contains data, its purely the broadcasters fault (i.e whoever set up the router).

I suggest reading up on the topic before making a statement.

zivan56 said,

You are aware that those "photographic cars" do way more than photography, right? They also collect cell tower information (MCC,MNC,LAC,CID, signal) and capture all WiFi frames.
You are aware that WiFi doesn't require you to "use" a network in order to intercept data. All Google does is capture a frame per access point, which is used for geolocation. If that frame contains data, its purely the broadcasters fault (i.e whoever set up the router).

I suggest reading up on the topic before making a statement.

Sure thing my friend... Believe what you want to believe...

Euphoria said,

Sure thing my friend... Believe what you want to believe...

What sort of reply is that? I am just stating what the car has, which I know for a fact. It's not my personal belief.
If you don't understand, then I suggest not replying and making yourself look like a fool.

zivan56 said,

What sort of reply is that? I am just stating what the car has, which I know for a fact. It's not my personal belief.
If you don't understand, then I suggest not replying and making yourself look like a fool.


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