Google Breaks Privacy Laws in Australia: Not the first

Google is a company which has a great search engine and which provides its users with lots of free services such as mail, docs etc. When a company has access to so much of your data, privacy can be a huge concern for consumers. So when it was discovered that Google was inadvertently collecting data from unencrypted private WiFi networks, governments took action.

Stan Schroeder has the full story over on Mashable. When the Google Street View cars were driving around taking pictures for the Street View project, they were also scanning for unencrypted WiFi networks and collecting data from them. Now Australia is accusing Google of breaking their privacy laws by collecting people’s private data without their knowledge.

It can be argued that a company such as Google has no right taking people’s data from their WiFi access points. There is no need for Google to have that data, and so they shouldn’t have taken it in the first place.

Though on the other hand, people shouldn’t have left their WiFi hotspots open in the first place. The only reason Google was able to get this data is because the hotspots had no security in the first place. If your WiFi network has no passcode or security, then in theory anyone can have access to your data.

The message to take from this story is that you should encrypt your WiFi networks. Find the instructions on how to access your router, and put a passcode on your network to stop strangers from being able to access your data.

Is your network secured? Do you even know how to set a passcode on your WiFi network? Discuss in the comments below.