Don’t want Google recording your Wi-Fi location? Rename your SSID

Posted to the Google blog yesterday, the company is trying to establish a new standard following the wrist-slappings they have received following collecting Wi-Fi information via their Google StreetView cars. That information then made its way into their location databases to assist location services beyond GPS and using cell towers. Google stated in September that they would develop a global opt-out service from using the access point at the request of several European data protection authorities.

The new standard Google is trying to establish involves renaming the SSID of the Wi-Fi access point to include ‘_nomap’ at the end of it. If your SSID’s name is ‘Linksys’, you would need to access the administration site of your wireless router or access point and rename the SSID to ‘Linksys_nomap’.

We’re introducing a method that lets you opt out of having your wireless access point included in the Google Location Server. To opt out, visit your access point’s settings and change the wireless network name (or SSID) so that it ends with “_nomap.” For example, if your SSID is“Network,” you‘d need to change it to “Network_nomap.”

Google provides a Google Maps Help page on its location services which include instructions on how to rename the SSID for various wireless devices.

Finally, because other location providers will also be able to observe these opt-outs, we hope that over time the “_nomap” string will be adopted universally. This would help benefit all users by providing everyone with a unified opt-out process regardless of location provider.

Categories : Security
Posted by Jason Hamilton | November 15, 2011  |  No Comment

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