Google Scanning for Your Mac Address?

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anamaniac

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Well, I actually like street view, and I have used it a few times (looking at a place I may have rented).
However, scanning Mac addresses? Why?
 

borisof007

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Key here people is "but is possibly obtaining users' unique Mac addresses in the process". POSSIBLY. Doesn't mean that they actually are. Maybe we should do some fact checking on google's end first, yes?
 

jenesuispasbavard

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My phone's GPS unit (when using Ovi Maps) can get a lock more quickly if it finds a nearby wireless network with a known access point location. Maybe this is why they're scanning (faster GPS lock when using Google Maps).
 

imspecial

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I wouldn't be opposed to the whole "public" wifi hotspots, but neighborhoods? When does Mac addresses have anything to do with internet hotspots anyyways?!
 

igot1forya

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MAC addresses on most wireless routers can be changed (clone mode for example), I would be more concerned about Google sharing SSID's, except you can hide that as well.
 

hellwig

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Mac Addresses are how hardware talks to each other. You can't connect to a wireless hotspot without addressing your traffic to the routers MAC address. Therefore, scanning for open networks will no doubt involve retrieving the routers MAC address. Whether or not Google stores that MAC address is another matter.

As I see it, there are two options here:

A) an open network is an open network, and Google's car's aren't going to know the difference between Starbucks and some moron who doesn't lock-down his router. And even with a locked-down router, if the router broadcasts its presence, people will know its MAC address.

b) google is obtaining this information so it knows exactly where you are at, and will be able to localize searches not just to your city but to your front yard. "Google has found 18347 results for 'furry animal farm escapades' in your neighborhood."
 

dxwarlock

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well I think anyone thats running a wifi at home wide open with no security deserves to have google obtain info about it.

a simple WPA(WPA2)or even WEP setup is all you need. wifi has been around long enough that if you have it at home..spending 3 minutes to set that up should be common sense.
 

bison88

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Every nation should be concerned, especially after Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that Internet users shouldn't worry about privacy unless they have something to hide.

Not just every nation, EVERY HUMAN! The in your face attitude Google has started to become has shown its true colors in late years forgetting that if everyone stopped going to google for one month Google would tank faster than the titanic since they have 95% of there profits from advertising. Not like its going to happen but it would send a clear message if it did which is one of the main reasons they are branching out in all directions to broaden their portfolio to prevent this from happening. They want to be the giant you fear, love, and hate at the same time.

It's unfortunate how Corporate they have become, but perhaps its just my blind ignorance like many who feel for them in the beginning as the "Innovators and Good Guys" that we thought they were.
 

dxwarlock

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[citation][nom]bison88[/nom]Not just every nation, EVERY HUMAN! The in your face attitude Google has started to become has shown its true colors in late years forgetting that if everyone stopped going to google for one month Google would tank faster than the titanic since they have 95% of there profits from advertising. Not like its going to happen but it would send a clear message if it did which is one of the main reasons they are branching out in all directions to broaden their portfolio to prevent this from happening. They want to be the giant you fear, love, and hate at the same time.It's unfortunate how Corporate they have become, but perhaps its just my blind ignorance like many who feel for them in the beginning as the "Innovators and Good Guys" that we thought they were.[/citation]

in your face? because they take pictures of anything with eyes can see themselves..or wifi spots that anyone in your neighborhood (or anyone passing by with a smartphone) can detect anyway?
now if they was warhacking the security on wifi to log into it. I could see a problem.
getting upset about google taking your picture is like tracking down people that took pictures at disney world and posted the pics on thier twitter, and you getting upset that its online and you happen to be in the background of that picture.

this whole "Google is evil for listing things that anyone can find out anyway" is getting out of hand.

I say if standing in the street of any random area, anything I can see(google street view), or detect (your wireless) is fair game.
 

husker

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[citation][nom]imspecial[/nom]I wouldn't be opposed to the whole "public" wifi hotspots, but neighborhoods? When does Mac addresses have anything to do with internet hotspots anyyways?![/citation]
Google isn't going to try and predetermine where public wifi hotspots are. They are just going to scan everything and then sort out the data. As soon as someone defines a rule describing where public hotspots cannot exist, exceptions will be found.

It is the wireless network admin/owner's responsibility to secure their network. If they want to broadcast on public frequencies out to public streets then they are equally to blame. What expectation of privacy do you have standing naked in your front yard? Ignorance is no excuse.
 

dxwarlock

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[citation][nom]Dirtman73[/nom]Why is anyone surprised by this?[/citation]
we arent, its no big deal...people act like they are coming into your house with the street view car, and taking photos of you in the shower
adding them to your network, and listing your wifi connection people can use to view the images
 

brett1042002

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[citation][nom]brendano257[/nom]Well assuming that Skynet has full control by 2018, I think they're right about on track.....[/citation]

Come with me if you want to live

;)
 

captjack5169

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This news is as funny as it is dangerous. As a network consultant having someone a mac address only matters depending on what you plan to do with it. Mac addresses are changable, maskable, and if you have something to hide you already know this. For the rest of us, I ll just quote what another network consultant. Google is the real life skynet.
 
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