Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 21st Nov 2011 07:48 UTC
Google Last June, CNET disclosed that Google collects and publishes the estimated locations of millions of phones, laptops, and other Wi-Fi devices. All without their owner's knowledge or permission. Google has finally announced how to exclude your home network from this database. Simply append "_nomap" to its name. Details over at CNET. Left unsaid is why the burden is placed on millions of individuals to opt-out, instead of on perpetrator Google.
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B. Janssen
Member since:
2006-10-11

There are also a small number of lans that have a hidden SSID. I know this because I installed them.


Seriously, you are doing your customers a disservice by disabling BEACON (i. e. SSID broadcast). It slows down the WLAN and increases security not one bit. Any half-arsed wardriver will find your WLAN anyway.

Also, with regards to the Google Maps issue, Google gathers the SSIDs by getting them sent from Android devices. While an Android device may miss a hidden WLAN, it obviously will not miss the WLAN it is connected to. So you can hide your own private WLAN as much as you like, your Android device will send the SSID to Google anyway.

But that's not the core issue either. Mobile devices use this database to locate themselves without GPS (or faster than GPS alone could), which is a useful and energy saving method. The problem only exists because Google, unlike, say Apple, makes the database public. If Google would keep the database under wraps like the other big players (e. g. Apple, MS) only Google could use the data. Bad enough, but that's the trade-off.

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