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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vrwarp
Member since:
2010-11-11

Could you propose a better opt-in/opt-out mechanism?

If it were opt-in, what would stop me from opting-in all the networks around where I live?

If it were opt-out, what would stop me from opting-out all the networks around where I live?

While the solution is a kind of clunky, it is the easiest way to guarantee that the owner of the router does *not* want their network being used to provide geolocation.

Of course, you could argue that it should be _map as an opt-in instead of _nomap as an opt-out, but then the service would be dead on arrival.

Reply Parent Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The solution is simple: don't publish the database on the public Internet.

Reply Parent Score: 2

vrwarp Member since:
2010-11-11

So you're basically saying, don't run the service for the public to use. It is an exceptionally useful service for really anything that wants to be geolocation aware because under many circumstances geolocation based off of wifi+cell towers is a lot more accurate and faster than gps alone (cities....)

In any case, people seem to be forgetting that you need to submit two nearby SSIDs to get a location. Also, google isn't the only provider of this service. Microsoft has one (public), Apple has one, and there is another company called Skyhook that provides the service commercially.

Reply Parent Score: 2