A recent article by PCWorld brought the Google WiFi data collection debacle back to the front of my mind again. For those who are not in the know, the google streetview cars have been collecting unencrypted data travelng over WiFi networks. Point is Google says it was an accident, but a lot of people are upset.
Here’s my question though… if you don’t bother to educate yourself about setting up your wireless network or choose not to encrypt it, how is it illegal for someone to intercept that communication? I mean, you’re essentially broadcasting it.
Additionally, why is everyone freaking out about Google storing unencrypted data? Most websites that communicate secure information to you (i.e. your bank) do so using end-to-end protocols, meaning that even if your connection to your router isn’t secure no one will be able to get to any sensitive information without some serious code breaking. But besides that, what are they going to do with the knowledge that while they were driving by I was reading CNN.com? Or checking Facebook?
I hate big brother as much as the next guy, but Google admitted their error in capturing a second or two’s worth of data on unencrypted wireless networks. If you’re bugged by that, encrypt your network. But don’t get all bent out of shape.