How is this even possible?

Headline from MSNBC: “Google says Street View cars got e-mail, passwords

What? And all this time I thought the most intrusive thing that could happen is the image of me carrying the trash out in my PJs would live on in e-map-purgatory for ever and ever.

Answer is Wi-Fi for those who don’t feel like reading more than the 63 words in this post.


2 thoughts on “How is this even possible?

  1. Interesting post, Erin. While a troubling concept, I was less bothered once I knew the data was collected from unsecured wireless modems…really, folks, if you know enough to lock your doors in the big city, it is time to “lockdown” your modems. A bit like complaining that your prospective boss didn’t hire you because of your questionable photos on your Facebook page, and you didn’t bother to set the security levels on your Facebook account.

    I am no technogeek, but I figured out how to password protect my modem and use encryption for its broadcast mode – it is not rocket science. Or perhaps manufactuers of the hardware need to rewire wi-fi modems so that security encryption set-up is a stage in hook-up, so all need to do this. Who needs an unsecured modem, anyway, for personal use? No need to let the neighbours poach off your signal…

    Take a little personal responsibility, folks!

    ’nuff said.


  2. A few years ago I was with a group walking home from our neighborhood association meeting in Berkeley when we came across a car with all the apparatus on top. We quietly surrounded the car at a STOP sign and asked the driver what he was doing. He refused to say, and was evasive. One of our group was a city council member – he took out his I.D. pass and the driver told about collecting street images.

    Now that wireless modem and wi-fi signals can be collected the situation is changed. I don’t use wi-fi in my home, all hard wired. When I turn on my traveling laptop I see dozens of wireless sites active. Being Berkeley, they are all secured.


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