UK's Turn To Worry About Google's Gathering Of Harmless, Public Wi-Fi Information
from the regulators-should-understand-the-technology-they're-regulating dept
We just got done exploring how German privacy regulators are "horrified" about how Google is (just as many other companies have been doing for years) gathering publicly-available Wi-Fi hotspot data for GPS triangulation and localized search. Of course the data being collected can’t really identify users outside of their router brand preference and use of nerd SSID humor — but that didn’t stop a flood of hysterical articles that assumed Google was using this data for some nefarious purpose. As if on cue, Germany’s complaints have now drawn the attention of UK regulators — who say they’re now going to quiz Google about the practice. While Wi-Fi clearly confuses many regulators and the press (look at the usual reaction to war driving), it is important that Google is transparent about this process, but so far there’s every indication they’re doing a good job on that front. The company posted another blog post this week and sent this filing (pdf) to privacy regulators in multiple countries highlighting exactly what’s being collected, what it’s being used for, while reiterating that the data can’t identify specific users and isn’t being published. So the question then is: how long before U.S. and other European regulators start to freak out?