Google To Offer Location Opt-Out To Wi-Fi Owners

Google to offer location opt-out to Wi-Fi owners

Google Inc. is going to let people with home wireless networks decide whether they want to be lumped into a system that helps pinpoint the locations of people on cell phones.

The concession announced Tuesday will give wireless, or Wi-Fi, networks the right to forbid Google from listing them in a vast database that the company has been building in the past few years.

The adjustment is a response to concerns raised in Europe. Regulators there have periodically looked into whether Google's mapping services violate Europe's privacy laws.

To avoid trouble, Google is working on a way for owners of Wi-Fi networks throughout the world to tell the company to back off. The opt-out choice will be available this autumn, according to a blog posted Tuesday by Peter Fleischer, Google's top privacy counsel.

Like other Internet companies increasingly interested in targeting people on the go, Google relies on the publicly broadcast signals from neighborhood Wi-Fi networks to get a better handle on locations of cell phone users. The Wi-Fi database helps fill in coverage gaps created by inaccurate information from cell phone towers or the unavailability of global positioning system, or GPS, technology.

Apple Inc. made a programming chance earlier this year that the company promised would prevent its iPhone from automatically collecting data from Wi-Fi networks.

Source : Yahoo

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