Google’s Wi-Fi Privacy Concerns

Google is planning to present free Wi-Fi services in San Francisco which would send it’s users advertising that is targeted to their geography. However their are concerns that this plan would allow Google to track it’s users where ever they go through their login information.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) a Sanfrancisco privacy group recommends that the users on the network be allowed to use the program anonymously and does not want their information stored in any Google databases for long periods of time. They are afraid that law enforcement and lawyers can later subpoena these records later on for criminal or civil matters.

“We’re asking that the system allow people to surf and to post and read things anonymously,” Kurt Opsahl, staff attorney for EFF, said Monday. “Because the system requires people to sign on, it creates the opportunity for persistent tracking.”

Google would deliver advertising based on the location of the node, or Wi-Fi transmitter, people were using to access the system. The company, however, says it’s too early in the process to know how the final deal will address user privacy.

“The privacy of our users remains of utmost importance,” the Mountain View, Calif., company said in an emailed statement. “We are in the very early stages of the planning process and look forward to working with the City of San Francisco and EarthLink to provide free Wi-Fi access to the residents of San Francisco.”

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