If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Bloomberg)   Google fined €145,000 over wi-fi data collection in Germany, may have to skip that afternoon's treasure bath   (bloomberg.com) divider line 24
    More: Followup, Google, data collection, internet search engines, German law, internal controls, euros  
•       •       •

584 clicks; posted to Geek » on 22 Apr 2013 at 9:21 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



24 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2013-04-22 09:15:37 AM
I think the whole "wifi data collection" charge was always bogus. The wifi info was collected in conjunction with Google's Streetview Vans, which photograph the streets.

You know how your phone tells you that you should enable Wifi to help you find your locations faster than GPS alone can? Yeah, the Streetview vans were doing the same thing. They weren't trying to wardrive, they were trying to find their position so they can use it for mapping.
 
2013-04-22 09:22:25 AM
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-04-22 09:32:28 AM

RexTalionis: I think the whole "wifi data collection" charge was always bogus. The wifi info was collected in conjunction with Google's Streetview Vans, which photograph the streets.

You know how your phone tells you that you should enable Wifi to help you find your locations faster than GPS alone can? Yeah, the Streetview vans were doing the same thing. They weren't trying to wardrive, they were trying to find their position so they can use it for mapping.


I thought they were collecting the WiFi data so that it would make the phones more accurate when they enabled WiFi.

Either way I agree with you, although the article says they were also stealing email data and passwords, that's the first I heard of that, so I'm going to assume that's a mistake.
 
2013-04-22 09:34:19 AM

Cybernetic: [1.bp.blogspot.com image 500x337]


image.jeuxvideo.com
 
2013-04-22 09:40:09 AM

Slaxl: RexTalionis: I think the whole "wifi data collection" charge was always bogus. The wifi info was collected in conjunction with Google's Streetview Vans, which photograph the streets.

You know how your phone tells you that you should enable Wifi to help you find your locations faster than GPS alone can? Yeah, the Streetview vans were doing the same thing. They weren't trying to wardrive, they were trying to find their position so they can use it for mapping.

I thought they were collecting the WiFi data so that it would make the phones more accurate when they enabled WiFi.

Either way I agree with you, although the article says they were also stealing email data and passwords, that's the first I heard of that, so I'm going to assume that's a mistake.


The idea is that, rather than using GPS, which is difficult to use (especially in big cities with tall buildings, where you run into the problem of blocked signals and multipath problems) and uses a lot of power, you can instead derive your location using 3 or more Wifi hot spots with known locations that you can use to triangulate location.

When your Wifi is enabled and the wifi networks around you are unsecured, you'll catch information that's flying through the air over Wifi - this is not news to anyone.
 
2013-04-22 09:40:53 AM
Wash this!
 
2013-04-22 09:46:39 AM
Makes up for all the taxes they're not paying
 
2013-04-22 10:11:18 AM

RexTalionis: You know how your phone tells you that you should enable Wifi to help you find your locations faster than GPS alone can? Yeah, the Streetview vans were doing the same thing


notsureifserious.jpg
 
2013-04-22 10:12:05 AM

moothemagiccow: Makes up for all the taxes they're not paying


[Citation Needed]

I am sure they are paying all the taxes they are legally required too.  Sure, they use complicated tax shelters to reduce their tax burdens, but those are legal, and, in fact, they would be in breach of their duty to their shareholders not to take advantage of such.  The solution is to change the laws to limit the tax shelters, not blame companies for taking advantage of them.  Nobody is required to pay more taxes than they owe.

TL;DR version: Don't hate the player, hate the game.
 
2013-04-22 10:13:19 AM

Vlad_the_Inaner: RexTalionis: You know how your phone tells you that you should enable Wifi to help you find your locations faster than GPS alone can? Yeah, the Streetview vans were doing the same thing

notsureifserious.jpg


I am serious.
 
2013-04-22 10:15:51 AM

RexTalionis: Vlad_the_Inaner: RexTalionis: You know how your phone tells you that you should enable Wifi to help you find your locations faster than GPS alone can? Yeah, the Streetview vans were doing the same thing

notsureifserious.jpg

I am serious.


Yeah, that's what they were doing.  But, in the process, they intercepted and downloaded random info being transmitted via unsecured wifi networks due to the way their packet sniffer was written.  They didn't want said data and gathered it accidentially.
 
2013-04-22 10:41:55 AM
Now if only Germany could use some other search engine.,,
/getting tired of this shiat
//how much money has the EU made off of our technology without lifting a finger other than to sue?
 
2013-04-22 11:40:15 AM

Slaxl: Either way I agree with you, although the article says they were also stealing email data and passwords, that's the first I heard of that, so I'm going to assume that's a mistake.


It's not a mistake, but it's not as bad as it sounds. All the little bits floating around in the air were caught by the machine and thrown into a bucket to sort out later. The bits that has SSIDs and useful things were kept, and the rest were thrown out. If you use unencrypted WiFi, then those bits may have contained pretty much anything floating through the air, unencrypted, at that moment, including plain text email.
 
2013-04-22 11:45:02 AM
Google gave me pinkeye.

It's an asshole.
 
2013-04-22 11:50:47 AM

kimmygibblershomework: Now if only Germany could use some other search engine.,,
/getting tired of this shiat
//how much money has the EU made off of our technology without lifting a finger other than to sue?


I've been very tired of morons like you for ages.

This was Germany, not the EU.

Germany, nor the EC (not the EU, ever, understand the difference), fines, not sues. It's not a civil entity.


And shut up about "your technology", it's not, the only people with barely coherent "opinions" like yours haven't contributed shiat to technology. And besides Northern Europe is richer than USA, and they didn't get like that by leeching of anyones technology.

Besides, Germany invented the computer (google Zuse, because, no you wouldn't know otherwise), so just, fark off.
 
2013-04-22 01:12:18 PM

spawn73: Besides, Germany invented the computer (google Zuse, because, no you wouldn't know otherwise), so just, fark off.


Charles Babbage would like a word with you...

Although it's silly to argue about who "invented" the computer, in the sense that computers have had come a long, long way from the 1940's. Many people have spent their entire lives working on these machines to   them to the point they're at today, and nobody back then could even conceive of what we'd be doing with them today, only 70 years later.

If you really want to argue merits though, it's hard to say that the Z3 was influential. Zuse had the misfortune of laboring in WWII era Germany, so he didn't really share his work, the original Z3 was destroyed in a bombing raid, and he wasn't able to obtain vacuum tubes so his computer operated entirely with electromechanical relays. The result is that the Z3 was very slow (it could take up to 3 seconds to do a single multiplication), while contemporary early computers like ENIAC operated in the realm of 5000Hz, and could operate several ALUs in parallel, which made them tremendously more powerful and in the end much more significant than Zuse's work.

I'm not trying to hate on Zuse, but he's not really remembered as a computer pioneer, and that's almost certainly due to Nazi policy during WWII, but that's the truth. When you start talking about early computers, no one brings up the Z3, Z4, or Z5. They bring up the Mark I,Colossus, and ENIAC. Even as late as the 1950's, the Z5 still used relays instead of vacuum tubes and wasextraordinarily slow. The purely electronic computers are the first that really had to tackle a lot of fundamental computer architecture problems that just weren't an issue in the (comparatively slow) Z series computers.
 
2013-04-22 01:21:17 PM

jonny_q: Slaxl: Either way I agree with you, although the article says they were also stealing email data and passwords, that's the first I heard of that, so I'm going to assume that's a mistake.

It's not a mistake, but it's not as bad as it sounds. All the little bits floating around in the air were caught by the machine and thrown into a bucket to sort out later. The bits that has SSIDs and useful things were kept, and the rest were thrown out. If you use unencrypted WiFi, then those bits may have contained pretty much anything floating through the air, unencrypted, at that moment, including plain text email.


If you collect personal information (and an email address with your name in is personal information) then you have to apply the Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (BDSG or in English data protection law) and Google didn't. Don't want to have to deal with the BDSG then don't collect personal information from people. Its the same as companies that dump waste into rivers complaining about enviromental standards.
 
2013-04-22 03:48:45 PM
markkolier.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-04-22 04:26:48 PM

Norfolking Chance: If you collect personal information (and an email address with your name in is personal information) then you have to apply the Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (BDSG or in English data protection law) and Google didn't. Don't want to have to deal with the BDSG then don't collect personal information from people. Its the same as companies that dump waste into rivers complaining about enviromental standards.


I wasn't commenting on the legal implications. There are lots of stupid laws in various places and I can't even keep up with the ones that apply to me, much less German ones. I'm just commenting on the ethics, and Google didn't do anything ethically wrong here. It's just FUD being spread.

Don't send email or type in passwords over an unencrypted WiFi, non-SSL connection. Ever. Not in your house, not in the coffee shop, not anywhere.
 
2013-04-22 04:52:13 PM

RexTalionis: Vlad_the_Inaner: RexTalionis: You know how your phone tells you that you should enable Wifi to help you find your locations faster than GPS alone can? Yeah, the Streetview vans were doing the same thing

notsureifserious.jpg

I am serious.


well, wifi basically maps into TCP/IP usually eventually (because of common network address translation subsystem) to a unique IP address on the internet.  That is basically structured around wires and routes rather than a spatial configuration.  Fo instance if something travels through a VPN, it could come out onto the internet across the country.  while there are efforts to geolocate where IP address actually live, I'm sure they are much less precise than the data you can get from GPS.

The words you are using remind me of an iPhone function of "Find your phone" which basically lets you access the GPS data from your phone from elsewhere  the internet.  say you lost it, your kid took it, or it was stolen, you could access a web page that could give you the last GPS coordinates it reported when it phoned home to the central server.   It helps to have wifi enabled to let that phone home happen.

Could a wifi map and a built in signal strength API help you with geolocation?  I suppose.  But given that was what GPS is designed for, I'd say you were doing it wrong.  Maybe it would help if you were inside a building, out of range of GPS satelites, but could detect a known (unique MAC address defined) wifi access point, that could be a fall-back method when GPS doesn't work..  But that's all I can think of.
 
2013-04-22 06:57:53 PM

Vlad_the_Inaner: RexTalionis: Vlad_the_Inaner: RexTalionis: You know how your phone tells you that you should enable Wifi to help you find your locations faster than GPS alone can? Yeah, the Streetview vans were doing the same thing

notsureifserious.jpg

I am serious.

well, wifi basically maps into TCP/IP usually eventually (because of common network address translation subsystem) to a unique IP address on the internet.  That is basically structured around wires and routes rather than a spatial configuration.  Fo instance if something travels through a VPN, it could come out onto the internet across the country.  while there are efforts to geolocate where IP address actually live, I'm sure they are much less precise than the data you can get from GPS.

The words you are using remind me of an iPhone function of "Find your phone" which basically lets you access the GPS data from your phone from elsewhere  the internet.  say you lost it, your kid took it, or it was stolen, you could access a web page that could give you the last GPS coordinates it reported when it phoned home to the central server.   It helps to have wifi enabled to let that phone home happen.

Could a wifi map and a built in signal strength API help you with geolocation?  I suppose.  But given that was what GPS is designed for, I'd say you were doing it wrong.  Maybe it would help if you were inside a building, out of range of GPS satelites, but could detect a known (unique MAC address defined) wifi access point, that could be a fall-back method when GPS doesn't work..  But that's all I can think of.


http://www.spirent.com/Positioning-and-Navigation/What_is_Wi-Fi_Posi ti oning

I'm sorry, but this is an old and well-known technology. You might say you don't believe me, but why don't you do a search on it first before you tell me that what I say is unfeasible?
 
2013-04-22 07:16:25 PM

Vlad_the_Inaner: Could a wifi map and a built in signal strength API help you with geolocation?  I suppose.  But given that was what GPS is designed for, I'd say you were doing it wrong.  Maybe it would help if you were inside a building, out of range of GPS satelites, but could detect a known (unique MAC address defined) wifi access point, that could be a fall-back method when GPS doesn't work..  But that's all I can think of.


The one doesn't supplant the other, that's not the point. They work together to give a much better (and faster) location method.

GPS works by (essentially) triangulating your location between several satellites that are in orbit. You measure the signal strength from the GPS sat, and this lets you know roughly how far you are from that particular satellite (let's call this distance r1). Hence, with one GPS sat, you know for certain that you're somewhere on a sphere, centered on that satellite, that has a radius of r1. If you have two satellites you have two distances, r1 and r2, and you know you're at some point in space that is in the intersection of these two spheres, which just happens to be some circle on earth (the intersection of any two spheres is always a circle). Add another sat and you've narrowed your intersection down to exactly two points on the surface of the earth, and finally you need a fourth sat to uniquely determine your exact point in space.

In practice, however, the physical measurement device in your GPS receiver gives noisy measurements, and not only that, but GPS signals can be interfered with (more noise), they can be reflected and give wrong distance values (more noise), you might be moving at a substantial rate of speed (more noise), there might be atmospheric or gravitational effects that distort the signal (more noise)... do you see where I'm going here? This can delay or even prevent your GPS unit from acquiring your true location, because the four nice spheres I describe above no longer line up perfectly (and some of them might even give incorrect results!).

As a result, no GPS system really works like I describe above. Instead, the system has a set of distance measurements that it *thinks* are accurate, but it also knows that each measurement is subject to some degree of uncertainty. As a result, the system has to perform inferenceover the set of measurements that it obtains, so instead of finding this nice perfect intersection point between spheres, it really finds the best guess that lines up with all the  evidence that it has available. The amount of evidence it has, in this case, is one distance measurement from every GPS satellite that it has a line-of-sight connection to. To compensate for this noise, we just shoot up a ton of GPS sats, and modern receivers can monitor as many as 20 sats at once.

However, in especially dense urban areas, this doesn't always help. The presence of tall buildings severely limits the amount of available sky for GPS transmissions, the large metal and concrete constructions cause a lot of reflected signals, and the large quantity of RF users can interfere with signals. In these environments it's often insufficient to just use sat signals, and as a result the makers of these systems look for any other evidence they can gather that lets them know where they are. WIFI signals are a great solution for two reasons: first is that they're almost everywhere, and second, as you point out, they're associated with a fairly unique MAC address. The WIFI signal gives a very good rough estimate of where you are on earth, and then GPS signals can be aggregated through a technique like particle filtering to refine that estimate as you move through the environment. Without that initial starting estimate from the WIFI signals, location acquisition in such environments can take a long time (or could be impossible for current systems).

TL;DR - you need both to have a really functional system
 
2013-04-23 01:06:35 AM

RexTalionis: When your Wifi is enabled and the wifi networks around you are unsecured, you'll catch information that's flying through the air over Wifi - this is not news to anyone.


Oh, this is absolutely news to lots of people.  You forget that technical ignorance is a badge of honor among legislators and regulators, who are proud not to understand that unencrypted radio transmissions on civilian frequencies work just the same as unencrypted police transmissions.
 
2013-04-23 08:37:20 AM

RexTalionis: Vlad_the_Inaner:

[...]Maybe it would help if you were inside a building, out of range of GPS satelites, but could detect a known (unique MAC address defined) wifi access point, that could be a fall-back method when GPS doesn't work..  But that's all I can think of.

http://www.spirent.com/Positioning-and-Navigation/What_is_Wi-Fi_Posi ti oning

I'm sorry, but this is an old and well-known technology. You might say you don't believe me, but why don't you do a search on it first before you tell me that what I say is unfeasible?


I didn't say it was unfesible.  I said it would be less precise, and therefore in my opinion, less desirable. To call it a better, faster method, when the physical limitations were obvious, is why I wondered if you were serious.

I also said I could see it could be used as a backup where GPS signals didn't reach.

And your link says what?

"However, GPS or GNSS is not always the answer, particularly in indoor environments or in the dense 'Urban Canyon' where the low-level satellite-based signals are critically compromised by obscuration and environmental degradation "

welcometofark.jpg
 
Displayed 24 of 24 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report