It’s official, folks: Google is done with the use of WiFi geolocation scanning.
And that’s a good thing, because most people would rather have anonymous geolocation than have to deal with their home networking identifiers getting pulled out. I’m not making this up.
But on a serious note, Google’s erroneous habit of including geolocation scans with its road-traveling Street View cars is done. Kaput. Out with the rest of the garbage. Going forward, the Mountain View, Calif.-based internet search and services company will put its entire geolocation-related focus on the plethora of downloadable apps that users already install on their phones and notebook computers — which in turn should pull Google away from the risk of accidentially latching on to private information that it had with the Street View approach.
As explained by Canadian privacy commissioner’s office representative Jennifer Stoddart in relation to an official report concerning procedural findings on the matter, collection of geolocation data using Street View “is discontinued and Google has no plans to resume it.” Instead, Google will “obtain the information needed to populate its location-based services database” from “users’ handsets.”
As it is, users of Google software products (including Chrome, Google Maps and phones running the Android mobile OS) may already be permitting this functionality to do it’s work, in turn making the potentially-intrusive methodology seem rather pointless to begin with — so the change in focus really shouldn’t be in-your-face surprising, if it even is at all.
Source: CNet News