back to article Google gets UK OK on privacy in slurping probe

Google's privacy policy has been gently applauded by Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, who came under sharp criticism for his initial "lily-livered" handling of the company's Street View Wi-Fi data-slurping operation. An audit by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) took place last month at Google's London …

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Stop

So when does Microsoft get audited?

As they are also driving around sniffing Wifi and tying them to locations....

http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_on_the_issues/archive/2011/07/01/microsoft-shares-source-code-for-wi-fi-data-collection-software.aspx

Personally out of all the Evil companies, Microsoft are the worst, and I suspect whey they show here are what they actually use are two very different things...

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Ru
Meh

Microsoft are the worst

Oh, absolutely. And Google, they're the worst too. And Apple? They're also the worst, as it happens.

Personally, what you suspect a company is doing is utterly irrelevant. I suspect you might be hoarding illegal donkey porn and hope the police search your computer soon; of all the evil denizens of the internet, ones called 'Mike Judge' are the worst, and what you claim to have on your computer and what is actually there are two very different things.

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Silver badge

Need to distinguish

Between capturing public information, such as MAC addresses, and 'accidentally' capturing the data content of packets.

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FAIL

Can we just close down the ICO

An expensive waste of time.

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Flame

Street View Wi-Fi data-slurping

I still don't feel that the drive by WI-FI data grab was ever an issue.

If there had been even the vaguest of encryption that needed circumventing then that's a different story. Similarly if it had been inside a closed system (software snooping on other software within a computer).

Otherwise it was information broadcast on an open unlicensed band in clear view. I think it sets an awkward (possibly dangerous?) precedent to say that people should expect privacy when they're effectively shouting across the room and taking no action to hide that fact.

I'm no Google fan boy, I general avoid feeding the ad machine. But just because someone isn't the recipient doesn't mean they can't/wont listen in.

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Anonymous Coward

The best justice money can buy

It seems clear to me that legal system in the UK (perhaps elsewhere) exists to protect the wealth and power of the wealthy and powerful. At whatever level in society could someone blatantly break the law and be told, "it's OK, provided you promise not to do it again"? The law comes down hard on even the mistakes of the poor.

And entrusting data privacy to Google is a bit like entrusting the henhouse to the foxes. It makes you wonder why we have a government at all.

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I have a feeling

If they did try and extract money Google I get the feeling Google would just pour lawyers at them and cost us more in the long run.

I have to say I don't agree with it, they should be fined for breaking rules.

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Unhappy

Ineffective policing, weak punishment and little chance of being caught...

Is it any wonder google is running riot with our data?

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FAIL

Whats the problem?

They incidentally collected unsecured wifi data. Blame the people who leave there wifi networks unsecured. If you use an unsecured wifi connection and transmit personal data that could be used maliciously then more fool you

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If I leave my front door open

and you walk in and steal something, I may be foolish, but you're still a thief.

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FAIL

But if you leave your plasma TV on the public footpath

with a sign saying "please take me" and someone walks off with it it's perfectly reasonable for them to do so.

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Unhappy

Watch out for strangers...

bearing gifts (Trojan Horse)

Electronic gadgets may include "trackers" & all kinds of "identity stealing" or "personal profiling" enhancements designed to purloin your Personal & Private Information!

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Re: If I leave my front door open

Google slurping unencrypted wifi data isn't really like them stealing from your house though, is it? I mean, isn't it more like them coming and taking photos of something you left out on your lawn? Which, incidentally...

Don't get me wrong, i'm not entirely comfortable with the whole street view thing - the internet remembering things in general rather scares me - but making inflamatory comparisons doesn't really help.

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Anonymous Coward

(untitled)

Perhaps a more accurate comparison would be somebody coming in to take photos and not caring if some of them show you naked in the shower? How is google going to know how private the information is that they're capturing?

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FAIL

Wi-fi snooping

My wi-fi is encrypted. So how did my computers' and wi-fi enabled devices' MAC IDs end up in Google's database, accessible through their API, publicly viewable before Google shut that door.

Does that explain how Google knows where I am so that when I make searches I get local results with a distance marker to help me find which business is nearest? How does Google have my address attached to my IP address when I have never used any Google service which could connect my physical and IP addresses?

There is only one thing to do with Google and that is add the following to the hosts file:

127.0.0.1 www.google.co.uk

127.0.0.1 www.google.com

etc

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