A couple of articles have surfaced over the last few days concerning Google and its collection of WiFi network information when conducting its Street View activities. One such article detailing Google’s response and admission of its actions has me scratching my head.
Alan Eustace, a senior vice president at Google, was quoted as having said:
“We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and are currently reaching out to regulators in the relevant countries about how to quickly dispose of it.”
Are they serious? If I had a file on my computer and wanted to delete a bunch of stuff, I’d select it all and press the delete key. If I were concerned about the data, I’d overwrite the data many times with garbage. Of course, you can go to the extreme by using things like a degaussing device, smashing the media into a million pieces and then throwing it into some concrete mix.
What happened to Google’s “don’t be evil” mantra? There’s been some notable carelessness lately, particularly with the Google Buzz service. Sure, this may have been unintentional but this is a significant oversight in my books.
How would you feel about a third party harvesting your WiFi information?
Considering that most people these days should understand that unsecured wireless networks can have their information captured by others (whether physically in the area or sniffing the network remotely), I don’t see this as a major issue.
Having said that, I am the type of person who is a big fan of natural selection and show little to no sympathy for those who choose to leave themselves open for attack. With the amount of resources, support and education freely available these days, there really is no excuse for not ensuring you protect your own “private” information from others.
You wouldn’t just freely shout sensitive information about yourself in a crowded room – you would find a private place and only share the information with select individuals. Why would it be any different on a home network?