Google $7m Street View fine shows how little we care about privacy

Mar 13, 2013
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If you've heard about Google's latest fine at the hands of privacy seekers across the USA, you know good and well that their Street View cars are roaming around your neighborhood with their sensors on. But what are we doing to prepare for these traveling information collectors? Apparently not a whole lot, as part of the penalty being leveraged against Google is a requirement that they inform the public how to turn on the security on their own personal wifi hubs.

The privacy case at hand has 38 states across the USA and the District of Columbia saying Google's "Wifi-poaching" Street View cars - which we've heard from many times before - are going out of their way NOT to keep to themselves. As these cars roam through your neighborhood, they take photos that are used for Google's Street View portion of Google Maps - accessible by anyone with an internet connection. The part that regulators are not happy about has to do with Google also seeking open wifi networks to better pinpoint the location of their vehicles as they take said photos.

But as the settlement against Google here in the USA shines down a $7 million dollar fine against the big G, so too did the public raise their voices in freak-out mode to Google, telling them to "stop all the downloadin".

Only that didn't happen. There was no massive public outcry, nor was there a large call for citizens across the USA - or anywhere else, for that matter - to take better care to secure their own wireless network. That's why this week's directive has Google creating a consumer campaign to educate everyday users on how they might secure themselves against... well... Google.

Sound like a life-changing experience for you? Will a set of Google Public Service Announcements change the way you secure your home internet network? Or is this just an exercise in absurdity?

Have a peek at the timeline below to follow this Street View story back several months (and years) and see how we're all handling this modern not-quite-so-private world of ours.


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