Friday, May 14, 2010

More Privacy Issues From The Private Sector: Update

It seems not only was Google cataloguing SSIDs and MAC addresses, according to Google:

"It's now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks," Google Senior VP of Engineering and Research Alan Eustace said in a post on Google's official blog on Friday.

What total bullshit. Mistakenly? More likely they got caught and now Eric, Sergei, and Larry, the three stooges of Menlo Park have some explaining to do.

Google, the world's largest Internet search engine, did not specify what kind of data it collected, but a security expert said that email content and passwords for many users, as well as general Web surfing activity, could easily have been caught in Google's dragnet.

You know, knowing this now, I have to wonder why they couldn't work out a deal with China. It seems second nature for them to snoop on people, and I am sure China would have paid them well for it.

"As soon as we became aware of this problem, we grounded our Street View cars and segregated the data on our network, which we then disconnected to make it inaccessible," Google's Eustace said, noting that Google had "failed badly" in maintaining its users trust.

Really? What are you going to do about it? Give the people whose trust you've violate free gmail accounts?

Thank you again, for reading this blog.


More Privacy Issues From The Private Sector

More privacy issues in the private sector. Earlier in the week I commented onWellmark Blue Cross' non-smoking policy that extends to current employees off work activities.

Now we see that Google is logging people's MAC addresses and SSIDs in the process of doing Google Street Views.

Google's roving Street View spycam may blur your face, but it's got your number. 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.
Spooks have long desired the ability to cross reference the Mac address of a user's connection with their real identity and virtual identity, such as their Gmail or Facebook account.
Other companies have logged broadcasting WLAN networks and published the information. By contrast Google has not published the WLAN map, or Street View in Germany; Google hopes to launch the service by the end of the year.

While some will say this information can be gotten by anyone in the area of networks with simple equipment, the key here is that it is being collected by an international firm with no oversight about how the information is used or even what gets collected. I have to wonder if comrade Brin and company have nefarious intentions. Remember, Google had been complicit with china in some of it's privacy practices or should I as violation thereof. Anything for a buck? Or is it sympathetic? Whatever the case Google comes across as a digital voyeur in the very least. I wouldn't trust them. Can you imagine a future where they will sell people's information to the highest bidder, who in turn wants to compromise someone's ambitions? It would make the cloak and dagger crap in DC much easier.

People used to complain that Microsoft was the dark force and evil. Right below our noses Google with it's friendly child-like multicolored corporate logo has positioned itself as the big brother of the future. Can we ever go back? Will we want to? Privacy has become an archaic word that seems to have lost it's original meaning.

Another company I wouldn't work for, for any amount of money.

Thank you for reading this blog.

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