Google offers opt-out for Wi-Fi database

If you’ve got concerns about Google plunking your Wi-Fi network into their database, you can take some heart in the fact that they are now allowing you to opt out if you so choose.

Google has caught some flak over their practice of doing some Wi-Fi snooping in your neighborhood and keeping track of Wi-Fi networks in their database, which they use to buff up their location-based services. They’re still doing it, but you now have the option to opt-out and tell them, “Hey, no thanks.” Whether or not they should be doing it in the first place is a whole other question, but it’s a start. Here’s a blurb from Macworld:

Google says it has explored different approaches for opting-out access points from its Location Server and thinks it has found a method that has “the right balance of simplicity as well as protection against abuse.” The method involves modifying your wireless network name so that it ends with “_nomap”. So for example, if your SSID is “My Network”, you will need to change it to “My Network_nomap.”

To be honest, it sounds like a bit of a hassle, but it’ll keep you off their grid at least. Google’s hope is that they’ll garner some good will from people running networks as sort of a mea culpa. In fact, they’re hoping the “_nomap” tag will be adopted by other location providers.

Source: Macworld

Corey has been been a tech journalist with a focus on Apple since 1998 and has written for The Loop, MacHome magazine, and as games contributor for The Mac Bible, and co-hosts the iGame Radio Podcast. He works as a… Full Bio