back to article Spain objects to Street View Wi-Fi snooping

Google may face a Spanish court over the legality of the Wi-Fi snooping activities of its Street View fleet, El País reports. The snappily-titled Asociación para la Prevención y Estudio de Delitos, Abusos y Negligencias en Informática y Comunicaciones Avanzadas (Association for the Prevention and Investigation of Crime, Abuse …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Go Spain!

    It's about time someone finally took on the Googlesnoopers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Riiiighhhttt

      You really believe that do you? Google are just doing what they've always done, gathering data and provding it, for free, to the public. With idiots like you, Spain and Germany it starts to make it difficult for them to provide a reliable yet still completely free service. If you wanted a detailed map 10 years ago you had to pay a crazy amount of cash for a relativly small area from the OS people, all you may need from the map is to double check some info you've been given so you wasted alot of money, Now with Google maps it's totally free. If I wanted to know what the area I was thinking of moving to was like even a year ago It would have been a total pain in the arse with driving around, because estate agents are crooks and lie all day so their info is useless, but now I can do it from the comfort of my bedroom, in my pants. By slating them for it all that is happening is, once again, the human race being held back by bureaucracy. We were just lucky that the internet was ever allowed to get to the state it's in. If the current level of BS was present 20years ago the majority of content creators (both successful and unsuccessful) would have just gone said fuck it, and we would be in a situation where all the content is driven by geocities, Yahoo and Kim Jong Il.

      1. Adam Salisbury
        FAIL

        So lemme get this straight....

        You're saying wilful, massive invasions of privacy and blatantly illegal activities by a company who should know better are all justified 'coz we get free maps'?

        Riiight.....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          What invasion of privacy?

          It's all public information that is available to every man and his dog walking around the area. How is it illegal? All Google have done is collect it and made it available online (or in the case of the subject at hand just collected it)

          Seriously I want to know what you think is illegal about driving around connecting to WiFi networks that are available to anyone? They wern't using aircrack to gain access to anything even slightly secured. It's certainatly not a massive invasion of privacy, as well, nothing private was invaded. I think you've read a bit to much of your daily mail....now put it down and go form your own opinion.

          1. Doshu

            maybe

            I believe i see your point, but i also think that for better or worse it's a natural human reflex to get skittish when faced with something that large and relatively opaque.

            Just a thought.

          2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            WTF?

            You're joking right?

            "Seriously I want to know what you think is illegal about driving around connecting to WiFi networks that are available to anyone? They wern't using aircrack to gain access to anything even slightly secured. It's certainatly not a massive invasion of privacy, as well, nothing private was invaded. I think you've read a bit to much of your daily mail....now put it down and go form your own opinion."

            Those who practice 'war driving' claim to only listen to the API and find the broadcast SSID and if the network is public.

            Connecting to the network and using its services without explicit authorization is referred to as piggybacking.

            What Google did was go beyond just capturing the SSID , type of encryption (or lack of encryption) and its GPS point.

            And yes, this is against the law in many countries.

          3. Bram
            Thumb Up

            Insane

            Yes all the information they were gathering was free and open to anyone in the local area, BUT that doesnt mean they have the right to broadcast it.

            If I walked down the street taking pictures of everyone's house and noting down their telephone numbers so I broadcast them on television I would be locked away very quick. So what is the difference between a large organisation going down the road taking pictures and IP addresses.

            In this digital world your IP address is as valuable as your telephone number and broadcasting over the net is the same as broadcasting on television.

            They should have been open sooner or if it was intentional give advance warning so the public can and secure their wi-fi.

            It needs to be a opt-in format not an opt-out one.

      2. ElFatbob
        Thumb Down

        Info whoredom.

        'By slating them for it all that is happening is, once again, the human race being held back by bureaucracy.'

        One of the funniest yet saddest things i think i have read.

        The birth of Googleanity, the newest world religion and mankinds new saviour.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    can't be an error?

    "something which was carefully programmed and has been done in 30 countries can't be an error"

    So the bugs in any substantial piece of software are malicious, then.

    And how does he know this bug/error/dodgy functionality was carefully programmed?

    This is one of those few LOL moments, with an emphasis on the latter 'L'.

  3. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Joke

    Another IT-illiterate politician

    "Apedanica president Miguel Angel Gallardo insisted that 'something which was carefully programmed and has been done in 30 countries can't be an error'."

    Sheesh! Do you have to fail an exam or something before you are allowed into a position of power?

  4. mt1
    Thumb Up

    Totally agree

    Its about time this is a serious breach of anti tapping laws and needs to be treated seriously

    It is not enough for google to say it was a a mistake they need to prove that it was a mistake by one person and that person needs to be punished in law

    If there is proof that this was not actually one person but was an approved feature of the project them the approval line needs to be investigated and those people brought to task

    This was not a one off grab of data but three years of data collection

  5. Velv Silver badge
    Terminator

    All Countries ?

    If all 30 countries prosecute for each infringement......

    Wouldn't like to be a google shareholder then :)

  6. Ben Tasker Silver badge
    FAIL

    FFS do the maths

    Posted this before, but I'll do it again;

    Making a few assumptions, but have tilted them in the favour of those who say it's deliberate.

    They collected 600GB - this we know

    I saw somewhere that it was done over 3 years, but can't find it. Lets call it 6 months (This is greatly in favour of the 'deliberate' crowd)

    600GB x 1024 x 1024 = 629,145,600 bytes

    629,145,600 / 180 days = 3,495,253.33333 bytes a day

    Give them an 8 hour day with a 1 hour lunch (i.e. 7 hours driving)

    3,495,253.333333 / 7 = 499,321.904762 bytes an hour

    499,321.904762 / 60 = 8,322.03174603 bytes a minute

    499,321.904762 / 60 = 138.7005291005 bytes a second.

    BUT the kit changed channel 5 times a second

    138.7005291005 / 5 = 27.7401058201

    So rounding up thats 28 bytes a second from each network. Except that there are more than 5 channels, so the kit would take 2 and a bit seconds to cycle through them.

    Why would Google deliberately capture 28 bytes from each network every couple of seconds? If they stayed in range for 5 seconds, they'd only get 56 bytes.

    Even if you were sending naked pics of your missus (would anyone here do it over an open network anyway?) that's not even a nipple.

    Was what they did wrong? Yes.

    Was it illegal? Almost certainly in at least some of the countries

    Was it deliberate? No

    Keeping in mind that 56 bytes would probably include your standard network traffic, there's nothing there of use to an advertiser. Certainly nothing worth the level of flack they are receiving.

    1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

      FFS do the maths yourself

      600GB is 600,000,000,000 bytes give or take around 7.5% - i.e. you're low by a factor of 1000.

      So, 56KB, anyone?

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Yup you're right

        Yup, my bad converted to Megs rather than Gig.

        OK so 56KB may be enough for a nipple ;-)

  7. Beachrider

    If you talk about private stuff in a public area...

    Are we really violating your privacy to listen? You actually broadcast the info, why cannot they listen?

    It is your job to secure your conversations. It isn't like Google broke into your house to overhear priviledged information. They were 10 feet outside your external wall when they 'found' your signal.

  8. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Flame

    Google apologists get real!

    Its funny watching the posters who side with Google and make excuses.

    Here in the US, post TJMaxx, there are laws against WAR Driving. That is, when someone specifically drives around snooping on wi-fi's that may not have security turned on.

    Other countries also have data privacy laws that are similar to the laws in the US.

    What Google did was illegal. While they claim that they have only 600GB, we don't know if they had captured more and had already deleted data and are now only coming clean before someone blew a whistle on them.

    Google has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

    Sure, I think anyone who has an open Wi-fi gets what they deserve, but then again I also believe that if you jump on any network that isn't yours and without permission, you also should get what you deserve, especially if it means you committed a crime.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    In other news...

    Google gets sued for recording details of the road network...on the grounds that it:

    - infringes someones privacy

    - violates their human rights

    - infringes copyrights

    - is offensive

    - upset religious beliefs

    - breaks health & safety rules*

    *delete as applicable for whatever political correctness you happen to believe in.

    Google records public information for a living. Just be thankful its not the State doing it (yet). The State will only use it as evidence against you.

  10. HonestM

    ding-a-ling - Wake Up Call!! - use secure SwissDisk to sync private data

    EXACTLY why you souldn't trust any unsecure link, in any country, to snyc or save personal, private data.... use a secure service like www.SwissDisk.com which is always end-to-end encrypted and enjoy some peace of mind. Or are you one of the "sheep" that thinks "it won't happen to me"... Ha! and when it does? then what? are you going back to ask the thief (Google or a criminal) to "please delete my personal info"? good luck with that!

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