Aayush Arya writes:
Google has announced a way for owners of wireless networks to opt out of being indexed by its location database by appending “_nomap” to their network’s name (SSID), according to a post on the Official Google Blog.
The only thing is that the solution itself is rather weird. As more people find out about this method, you’ll soon start seeing the “_nomap” tag pop up on Wi-Fi network names everywhere, and that to us seems like a strange outcome. Not to mention all the people who simply won’t ever find out about this new policy and wouldn’t be able to opt out of being indexed.
People shouldn’t have to explicitly state in their network’s name that they do not want to be indexed, just like you don’t have to stick a sign on your windows to let people know that it is not OK to jump in unannounced. Perhaps it would have made more sense as an opt-in solution instead, where people who wanted their networks to be indexed could have appended “_map” to their SSIDs to give Google the green signal.
If you want to opt out, Google says, you have to figure out how to add “_nomap” to the end of your SSID name. Can’t figure out how to do that? Oh well. Google, and I quote, “found that a method based on wireless network names provides the right balance of simplicity as well as protection against abuse. Specifically, this approach helps protect against others opting out your access point without your permission.” You hear that? Google wants to protect you from someone turning off your location sharing without your permission. It’s for your protection, citizens.