Wednesday, January 5, 2011

WI-FI Users Beware

Let us take caution when connecting over Wi-Fi networks around the city as our personal data and messages sent online are unsecured.

South Korean police reported this week that it has found evidence that Google illegally collected private data sent over emails and online messenger chats exchanged through Wi-Fi networks. The police have decoded the data stored on hard disks used for Google Street View. Street View, a Google developed application, allows users to see panoramic street scenes on Google Maps.

It was reported that the illegally collected private data were captured by view cars taking photographs of cities worldwide when it is producing the mapping service. The data were gathered in fragments of individual exchanges sent over Wi-Fi systems.

Google denied that they have knowledge of the kind of data their view cars have collected. Last November, Google agreed to delete private emails and passwords mistakenly picked up from wireless networks in Britain by its Street View cars. It has also agreed to improve the way it trains staff on data protection issues.

Lesson learned: think twice before connecting to a Wi-Fi network and exchange only as possible non-confidential information.

Entry No. 7

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