So, a while back, Google started providing location services. This seemed pretty cool, but I kind of ignored it until recently when I was playing with my Android’s location API. With the GPS off, and no cell towers visible (my basement gets terrible cell service), my phone knew within about 500 feet of where it actually was. All I was connected to was my wifi.
Bottom line: it seems that Google, among other methods, is likely wardriving while photographing for Street View. They are now able to pinpoint wifi access points if they happened to see it while driving through your city.
I’m really rather astonished that no one is freaking out about this; I’m a bit unnerved. I implemented the location-of-your-wifi API quickly, so I could terrify myself further. You can do lookups via my location website too, if you want.
UPDATE: yeah, it would seem to be crowd-sourced wifi and cell tower triangulation data. I should say “Google is WarCrowding”.
© 2010, Kees Cook. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.