Google Ordered to Pay $7 Million to U.S. States for Wi-Fi Snooping Incident
March 13, 2013 10:11 AM
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Google also agreed to destroy all of this data collected in the U.S.
Google is finally settling a three-year investigation this week into a Wi-Fi incident that occurred when compiling data for its mapping service.
Google's Street View
mapping cars had accidentally collected personal data, such as home wireless network passwords, between 2008 and 2010. The cars were out collecting images and data for the Street View mapping system in Google Maps, and were using an experimental computer code in the cars' software while doing so. This led to the accidental collection of personal data.
The settlement orders that Google split $7 million among 38 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia, which were involved in the incident. Google also agreed to destroy all of this data collected in the U.S. (it's still working things out with European countries, where the same incident occurred).
Google will also deploy employee education programs that fill them in about user privacy, and will also launch a campaign about protecting information on wireless networks.
While Google has now been punished for its incident, some are not happy with the amount of the fine. For instance, Steve Pociask, the president of the American Consumer Institute, said that $7 million is nothing to a huge tech company like Google and likely won't ward off any further intrusions of privacy.
Google had a revenue of $50.2 billion in 2012 and $10.7 billion in net income.
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RE: stealing wifi passwords?
3/13/2013 4:49:31 PM
Most home routers do not have a secure log in page. If the owner logs into the router using their open (unsecured) WiFi then anyone within range can record both the username and password sent to the router.
Note: logging into your router is different then entering the network security key. You enter the network security key the first time you connect to your secured wireless network. You log into the router when you want to change a configuration setting, like forwarding a port or changing the network security key.
RE: stealing wifi passwords?
3/14/2013 12:38:53 PM
Most people who are using unsecured wireless routers never bothered to log into their router to change any settings and probably never will. All they did was plug in the router, turn on their laptop and connected to it. There are lots of people who do this unfortunately. All companies that make wireless routers should include something that screams "You MUST secure your router or your data WILL be compromised!".
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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