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Google's roving Street View spycam may blur your face, but it's got your number. The Street View service is under fire in Germany for scanning private WLAN networks, and recording users' unique Mac (Media Access Control) addresses, as the car trundles along.
Germany's Federal Commissioner for Data Protection Peter Schaar says he's "horrified" by the discovery.
"I am appalled… I call upon Google to delete previously unlawfully collected personal data on the wireless network immediately and stop the rides for Street View," according to German broadcaster ARD.
Spooks have long desired the ability to cross reference the Mac address of a user's connection with their real identity and virtual identity, such as their Gmail or Facebook account.
Originally posted by m0r1arty
An incredibly biassed article that not only misses out citations but doesn't even explain what it is implying.
The Register usually does get the best scoops and is normally a very good news source but this is just a paranoid maniac piece by someone with no writing skills.
Originally posted by mythatsabigprobe
reply to post by stumason
Stu, Google has cars and drivers mapping every street in every country. They have your house photographed I'll bet and therefor they have your MAC address logged if you have a wireless network. I see it doesn't bother you, but that would mean that every site you've ever visited and every comment you've ever made on a blog like this could be traced to you regardless of your IP address. Never clicked a link in somebody's post and ended up somewhere distasteful? Never said anything that might look bad to a prospective employer? Never discussed anything you want kept private in an IM or email?
With your MAC address it's possible to catalog everything that computer ever did on the Internet and Google has the databases and computing power to do it.
Originally posted by stumason
EDIT 2: You are also aware that when you visit Google's website, they can see your MAC address to? It's broadcast out in every packet your computer sends, whether it be wired or wireless.
[edit on 24/4/10 by stumason]
Originally posted by ANOK
This is indeed unneeded paranoia fear mongering for the uneducated.
Just change your mac address...
You can even install software that changes your mac address every re-boot.