Sniffing in StreetView’s Tracks

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Google’s horrendous
breach of privacy
with its StreetView data-collection gaffe may
at least have one beneficial consequence: making WiFi users think more
about security.

Consumer Watchdog, which has emerged as one of the main anti-Google
agitators, decided to follow in the tracks of the StreetView cars –
literally. It sent out its own vehicle to “sniff” the WiFi networks of
certain members of the US Congress whose homes have been photographed by
the Google service.

That’s embarrassing for Jane Harman, who heads the intelligence
subcommittee for the House’s Homeland Security Committee. It turns out she
has an open home network
– though there’s no way of telling if
she used if for company business. Given that StreetView cars were
automatically sucking up data from all the open networks they could
find, it’s a fair bet that at least some of her personal material ended
up on Google’s servers.

How many other members of Congress are exposed to drive-by spying
like this? It’s amazing that such vulnerabilities still exist.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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