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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Google freeloading on your wireless network

Google spied on British emails and computer passwords (Telegraph)

The Telegraph has missed the point. It's not the embarrassing but uninteresting emails of stupid people with no passwords on their networks, it's the annoying arrogance of Google in planning to use your wireless network identity as an indicator of location. For example be a person is walking down your street with a mobile phone using the Google Maps application. Google Maps is busy detecting where exactly he or she is, and in doing so it could scan for local wireless networks and recognise yours from its Streetview survey data, then use that to triangulate the person's location. The annoying thing is you are providing a service for which you are not being paid, though you are paying for its upkeep. They are using you, freeloading, without a by-your-leave. It's a matter of principle.

Simon

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