Your Wi-Fi Networks Can Rest at Ease, Promises Google

Illustration for article titled Your Wi-Fi Networks Can Rest at Ease, Promises Google

It boggles the mind that we even needed telling, but Google's promised its Street View cars will no longer be capturing Wi-Fi network details.

After several lawsuits and many outraged citizens parading outside Google HQ with pitchforks, the Canadian privacy commissioner revealed in a report that Google's "collection is discontinued and Google has no plans to resume it." Not that they were collecting the data deliberately—or using it for anything—but I guess it's reassuring news.


Google will however continue obtaining Wi-Fi details from Android phones, or at least those Android phones owned by people who choose to share location information. It's one of the first options asked by Google when a user starts up their Android for the first time, but few people are aware of what it actually means.

There's no reason to panic, readers. Put down those pitchforks! Google just uses it for finehoning its mapping tech, with spokesperson Christine Chen telling CNET that "Android provides users with notice and control over collection of location, sharing of location and use of location to help provide a better mobile experience...We don't share individual location collected from user devices with any applications or services." [CNET]

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Les Mikesell

If you don't want people on the street collecting your radio emissions, don't broadcast them there... Or just encrypt them. Why are other people obligated to avoid the photons you toss at them?