TO play devils advocate
Just perhaps they didn't have/want the necessary hardware to cope with the processing overhead of processing the data there and then?
It's been noted the GPS data comes through somewhat slower, so that sets back your processing time a little.
You can't honestly tell me that if you were doing the same thing (and whether you'd do it or not is besides the point) that you'd let a PC process the data when you've a server farm that can handle it?
Why risk overloading a simplistic bit of kit, and risking losing data when you can store the lot simply and quickly, and then deal with it at home?
Why spend the extra money to have kit that'll handle the overhead when you've a server farm that'll do it?
Not saying it was right, but saying it implies Intent doesn't quite fit!
If you accept that it does, then you force them into a stalemate;
- discard the encrypted packets - Implies Intent
- record the ecrypted packets - OMG Dey plannin on crackin moi dataZ
So again WTF?
Without saying anything akin to "they shouldn't have been recording SSID's etc", what exactly would you want them to do?
Storm in a teacup is all I see in this particular case - if you don't believe me why don't you do a small test on what they did?
- Install a packet sniffer
- Sniff your network as you drive by (leave it encrypted if you have a means to decrypt)
- Remove some packets to allow for 5 channel changes a second
- Have a look at the data you captured
- Can you use it for anything (baring in mind you've a more indepth knowledge of you than Google - hopefully)??
If you want to post an example, and how you could reasonably use it to target advertising, then I'd love to see it!
_In fact I'll post a tenner to the first person who can provide real-life data with a real world advertising use_