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A dissection of Google's Wi-Fi sniffing debacle. Google's public version of events of how it came to secretly intercept Americans' data sent on unencrypted Wi-Fi routers over a two-year period doesn't quite mesh with what the search giant told federal regulators.

A dissection of Google's Wi-Fi sniffing debacle

If Google had its way, the public would have never learnt that the software on Google's Street View mapping cars was "intended" to collect payload data from open Wi-Fi networks. A Federal Communications Commission document disclosed 28 April showed for the first time that the software in Google's Street View mapping cars was "intended" to collect Wi-Fi payload data, and that engineers had even transferred the data to an Oregon Storage facility. Google tried to keep that and other damning aspects of the Street View debacle from public review, the FCC said. The FCC document unveiled on 28 April is an unredacted version of an FCC finding, which was published March 2012 with dozens of lines blacked out.

Rewind to May 2010, when Google announced the Street View debacle: A Street View of Private and the Public. Prashant Iyengar on how in the eyes of the law, the internet giant is like the homeless in India.

A Street View of Private and the Public

This article was published by Tehelka on June 4, 2011. However, this technology has also raised interesting privacy concerns in countries where it has previously been launched. In April 2008, shortly after the service was first launched in the US, Google was sued by a couple who objected to the pictures of their home being publicly displayed.

G facing new Wifi Investigation

Google engeneer identified. Google Staff Knew Of WiFi Snooping, Report Says. 30 April 2012Last updated at 04:17 ET.

Google Staff Knew Of WiFi Snooping, Report Says

Google Says It Mistakenly Collected Data on Web Usage. Agreement reached in Belgium. CNET SV cars grabbed locations of phones,PC' Google SV Switzerland. Google SV South Korea. U.S., European regulators do not share Google Street View concerns. As recently reported by the Washington Post and others, the FTC has ended an inquiry into privacy concerns over Google's Street View service after Google pledged to stop gathering email, passwords, and other information from residential WiFi networks as its Street View cars creep through neighborhoods with computers on and cameras rolling.

U.S., European regulators do not share Google Street View concerns

For some background on the issue, here is a timeline of related events and announcements: In the United States, the general rule is that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place, and is therefore no right of privacy which would prohibit Google or anyone else from taking photographs or videos of public places and the people who happen to be in those locations.

Google SV Australia

Google Explains Its Street View Wi-Fi Gathering Operation - Wi-F. Google's global privacy counsel provides a detailed explanation about what data Street View gathers, including Wi-Fi signal information: As I wrote about last week, Germany's data privacy commissioner raised an alarm at Google scanning and recording data about Wi-Fi networks as it drives around snapping Street View pictures.

Google Explains Its Street View Wi-Fi Gathering Operation - Wi-F

The commissioner is off base in stating that publicly identifiable information is being grabbed, but perhaps it's better that a privacy czar errs on the side of the public at times. Google's corporate counterpart to that commissioner, Peter Fleischer, penned a blog entry in which he explains in excruciating detail precisely what data is being collected in what fashion. He writes, in response to the ersatz question, "Is it, as the German DPA states, illegal to collect WiFi network information? " Google letter to lawmakers says "sorry" for Wi-Fi breach, downpl. Submitted: June 11, 2010 - 8:27am Last updated: June 11, 2010 - 8:28am Location: Capitol Building, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002, United States Google is determined to "learn all the lessons we can" from a major privacy breach in which it may have collected users' personal information from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, the company said in a letter to House Commerce Committee leaders on June 8.

Google letter to lawmakers says "sorry" for Wi-Fi breach, downpl

Google sought to downplay the danger of the breach in response to a list of questions in late May from Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), ranking member Joe Barton (R-TX), and Rep. Google letter to lawmakers: 'Sorry' for Wi-Fi breach, downplays. Google is determined to "learn all the lessons we can" from a major privacy breach in which it may have collected users' personal information from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, the company said in a letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders on Wednesday.

Google letter to lawmakers: 'Sorry' for Wi-Fi breach, downplays

In a copy of the letter obtained by The Hill, Google sought to downplay the danger of the breach in response to a list of questions in late May from committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), ranking member Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.). The Internet giant owned up to the error while seeking to ease concerns about any harms it had caused, noting that the breach arose while it was systematically collecting Wi-Fi network information. This practice led it to mistakenly grab data running over those networks, it said.

Google SV US

Google SV Italy. Google SV Germany. Google SV France. Google SV UK. Google SV Canada. Google SV Czeck. StreetView passed by Kiwi cops. High performance access to file storage Police in New Zealand have bounced a complaint about Google's StreetView service back to the country's Privacy Commissioner.

StreetView passed by Kiwi cops

The Privacy Commissioner formally referred StreetView's unauthorised collection of Wi-Fi data to the police in June so cops could decide whether a crime had been committed. Police said there was no evidence a crime had been committed. But they did say it was a timely reminder for people to switch on their Wi-Fi security in order to stop data being slurped "either inadvertently or for more sinister purposes". Aussie police are still investigating Google's mass Wi-Fi data slurp, as are regulators in the UK, Germany and Spain. Some 38 states in the US are also investigating the ad giant. Tech - 'Evil' Eric Schmidt Debuts in Video Targeting Google Privacy - Wired News. Google Street View logs WiFi networks, Mac addresses. Related to: Google Street View Under Fire for Privacy in Germany. Google Street View logs WiFi networks, Mac addresses. High performance access to file storage Google's roving Street View spycam may blur your face, but it's got your number.

Google Street View logs WiFi networks, Mac addresses

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. "I am appalled… I call upon Google to delete previously unlawfully collected personal data on the wireless network immediately and stop the rides for Street View," according to German broadcaster ARD. Google drive-by data scooping: updated.

Caparsons's streetview Bookmarks on Delicious. Street View under fire for Wi-Fi hotspot snooping. By Hani Megerisi Posted on 23 Apr 2010 at 11:15 Google’s Street View car has come under fire collecting data on private Wi-Fi networks.

Street View under fire for Wi-Fi hotspot snooping

As well as taking photographs for Google Map, the Street View car is also collecting users’ unique MAC (Media Access Control) addresses. This information could be potentially used by services such as Twitter so that it can identify where a tweet has come from. Data collected by Google cars. WiFi networks broadcast information that identifies the network and how that network operates. That includes SSID data (i.e. the network name) and MAC address (a unique number given to a device like a WiFi router). Networks also send information to other computers that are using the network, called payload data, but Google does not collect or store payload data.* But doesn’t this information identify people?

However, we do not collect any information about householders, we cannot identify an individual from the location data Google collects via its Street View cars. Google Says It Mistakenly Collected Data on Web Usage. WiFi data collection: an update. Posted by Alan Eustace, Senior VP, Engineering & Research (cross-posted from the Official Google Blog) Nine days ago the data protection authority (DPA) in Hamburg, Germany asked to audit the WiFi data that our Street View cars collect for use in location-based products like Google Maps for mobile, which enables people to find local restaurants or get directions. His request prompted us to re-examine everything we have been collecting, and during our review we discovered that a statement made in a blog post on April 27 was incorrect.

In that blog post, and in a technical note sent to data protection authorities the same day, we said that while Google did collect publicly broadcast SSID information (the WiFi network name) and MAC addresses (the unique number given to a device like a WiFi router) using Street View cars, we did not collect payload data (information sent over the network). So how did this happen? Uncil staff helping selves to data. High performance access to file storage Official claims that "your data is safe with us" suffered another body blow at the weekend with revelations of a dramatic rise in hacking of the UK’s tax and benefit mega-database by council staff.

In most cases, councils appear to have concluded that the appropriate penalty for such unlawful prying into personal lives has been nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The scale of the unofficial snooping came to light following a series of FoI requests by the Mail, which disclosed that there had been 124 security breaches by council staff last year – up sixfold from a mere 20 in 2008/9. Town Hall snoopers have been looking at accounts belonging to friends, family and neighbours – as well as celebrities.

Although some 26 employees were dismissed – and eight resigned during the disciplinary process - the majority were let off lightly: 37 received a written or verbal warning, while 43 suffered no penalty at all. We also asked the DWP to comment. Bootnote. On Google Street View Car Logging Wifi Networks... (Google Blogo. Google Wi-Fi Audit Proves Criminal Intent, Says Privacy Group - The results of a third-party audit of Google’s Wi-Fi sniffing code have been released. The audit shows that the Google software did indeed store unprotected payload data from Wi-Fi networks. This, Privacy International, an advocacy group from the UK, says, is proof that Google had “criminal” intent in collecting the data that it claims is enough for a court to pursue charges against the company.

However, Google had already acknowledged all of the findings in the report. The report found that the software used by Google in its Street View cars to collect Wi-Fi network information, gslite, was designed in such a way so as to store all unprotected payload data it intercepted. The software received data from the GPS unit and the well-known, in certain circles, Kismet packet-sniffing software. This is in line with what Google has said so far. The reasoning is that the software is too complex for the ‘mistake’ theory to hold up. Google explains why Street View cars record Wi-Fi data.

Google has sent an explanatory letter to the UK's privacy watchdog after it emerged that the company had sniffed and logged the Wi-Fi addresses of citizens across the country. The letter was sent to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and other data protection authorities across Europe on Tuesday. Last week, German data protection commissioner Peter Schaar expressed dismay at the news that Google's Street View cars had been registering Wi-Fi data from people's routers as the cars drove around taking photographs for Google Maps. The cars collected media access control (MAC) addresses and service set identifiers (SSIDs).

Subsequently, Google said it was doing the same thing in the UK, prompting the ICO to seek an explanation. "The data which we collect is used to provide location-based services within Google products and to users of the Geolocation API," Raphael Leiteritz, Google product manager, wrote in the letter. Can privacy, social media and business get along? - Tamar Weinbe.

Google Sued for Scooping Up Wi-Fi Data. Newton ISP sues Google over Mass. WiFi customer privacy - Mass H. FastCompany.com - Where ideas and people meet. Privacy in Peril: Lawyers, Nations Clamor for Google Wi-Fi Data. An open letter to EU privacy commissioners regarding deletion of. Google’s Data Collection Angers European Officials.

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Google 2share data with regulators. Google SV patent.