Saturday, April 24, 2010

Google Street View is Logging WiFi Networks And Mac Addresses

Google's Street View cars are scanning and logging WLAN networks and Mac addresses in Germany, and the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection is not happy about it. Google has not published the data it has collected, at least not yet, but people have some privacy concerns. The information could be used to connect a virtual identity with a real one.

"Google's roving Street View spycam may blur your face, but it's got your number. The Street View service is under fire in Germany for scanning private WLAN networks, and recording users' unique Mac (Media Access Control) addresses, as the car trundles along.

Germany's Federal Commissioner for Data Protection Peter Schaar says he's "horrified" by the discovery.
Spooks have long desired the ability to cross reference the Mac address of a user's connection with their real identity and virtual identity, such as their Gmail or Facebook account.

Other companies have logged broadcasting WLAN networks and published the information. By contrast Google has not published the WLAN map, or Street View in Germany; Google hopes to launch the service by the end of the year.

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