Google alerts keep track of people and things of interest

Does anyone else see a problem with this?

Please explain: why Google wants your Wi-Fi data

LOUISA HEARN | The Age | May 13, 2010
Google Australia will today be sent a “please explain” letter from two local privacy organisations demanding to know why the company has been collecting personal Wi-Fi network data from Australian homes alongside the images it takes with its Street View cameras.

The letter comes in response to recent reports that the company has been quietly collecting Wi-Fi data around the world when taking pictures of streets and houses for its mapping service

Apparently one of Google’s arguments is that collating the location of your home or business wifi network will help users of their Android mobile phones to locate themselves if their in-built GPS is having trouble.

Oh, that’s OK then. Yeah right!

Quite a good digest from Google defends Street View Wi-Fi data collection includes this quote:

German federal data protection commissioner Peter Schaar was quoted in German newspaper Spiegel last week as saying he was “horrified” to discover the practice, and said that it was being carried out “without the knowledge of third parties”.

To which Google replies soothingly, ‘Eat my shorts!’ (OK that’s a paraphrase. Read the article.)