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Google Privacy Security Technology

FCC Investigating Google Street View Wi-Fi Data Collection 122

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yeah-sorry-'bout-that dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "The Federal Communications Commission is looking into whether Google's Street View Wi-Fi data collection violated the Communications Act. At issue is a May admission from Google that equipment attached to its Street View cars collected data that was traveling over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, known as payload data. At first Google said it did not know if that data included personally identifiable information, but the company admitted last month that it did include entire e-mail addresses, URLs, and passwords. Google has pledged to work with the FCC."
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FCC Investigating Google Street View Wi-Fi Data Collection

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  • Re:War-driving (Score:2, Interesting)

    by windcask (1795642) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @11:44AM (#34197576) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, I can see the use for that...as a veritable 'hit list' for people who want to use unencrypted domestic Wi-Fi in illegal acts.
  • by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @11:49AM (#34197634)
    If the wifi is open then google can't be in trouble for using the wifi. Whats stopping me from going on my neighbors wifi and using it if it's open. Open Wifi is an invitation to use. Now if google cracked the wifi then ya I can see the FCC being pissed, but they only used open wifi.
  • Re:Why? WHY??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @02:58PM (#34199958) Journal

    Actually, the Communications Act prohibits the use of public radio waves in that way.

    Which section? It's a long bit of legislation, which I'm not inclined to pore over at the moment. Since you already know, could you quote the relevant bit for us? Thanks.

  • by ortholattice (175065) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:26PM (#34201030)
    Ah, yes, I remember those. Back in the 80s I bought a wide-band scanning receiver that happened to cover the band used by car phones. It came with a separate sheet of paper in the box loudly warning me that I should never tune to that band because it was illegal (citing the appropriate legal codes). Of course you can guess which band I tuned into first.

    I was astounded. Most car phone users acted as if they had no clue their calls could be eavesdropped (only once or twice did I hear someone say, "you better be careful with what you say"), and you could even decode the phone numbers from the tone sequences setting up the call. Many of the calls were routine business calls, some of them were like a young guy trying to impress a girl that he was calling from his fancy new Porche (it would work - she'd say, "Really? Oh wow!", and they'd schedule a date), others were things like a guy telling his mistress they couldn't meet that night because something came up with his wife (right after talking to his wife). Since most of the users back then were wealthy or at least well-off, the blackmail opportunities would have been endless for someone so inclined, and I'm surprised it wasn't something that occurred more often.

    Later, when early cell phones started using the band, something changed where you could hear only one side of the conversation, so it wasn't nearly as interesting.

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