Tony Bradley follows up on the ICO’s announcement that it will be looking into the Google Wi-Fi situation again by pointing out that Google is being blamed for the security and privacy failures of individuals and businesses who fail to use even minimal security on their systems:
Many of the privacy concerns, however, are not really a function of Google. Google is simply the high-profile messenger making communities and users aware of just how exposed they are. It is part of a common and growing privacy backlash trend that misdirects blame at third-party organizations rather than taking personal responsibility.
Did Google collect Wi-Fi data–including sensitive information like usernames and passwords? Yes. It has admitted as much. But, Google didn’t do anything wrong to get that data. It’s more like someone gave Google a $20 bill, then turned around and accused Google of theft.
The issue isn’t that Google invaded anyone’s privacy by gathering and retaining the Wi-Fi data. The issue is that many businesses and homes are like the man in the park with his zipper down–operating insecure wireless networks that are constantly transmitting these types of sensitive data for anyone to intercept.
Even if the woman taking the pictures truly is a perverted stalker and had intent to capture the inappropriate photos, prosecuting her won’t change the fact that the guy is still walking around the park with his zipper down.
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