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Google Privacy

Brazil Orders Google To Hand Over Street View Data 130

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-it-back dept.
cold fjord writes "France 24 reports, 'Brazilian judges gave US Internet search giant Google until Saturday to turn over private data collected through its Street View program ... Failure to do so would mean a daily fine of $50,000, up to a maximum of $500,000. ... According to a complaint from the Brazilian Institute of Computer Policy and Rights (IBDI), the car-borne software also enables Street View to access private wi-fi networks and intercept personal data and electronic communications. IBDI pointed to similar occurrences in other parts of the world and demanded that Google reveal if it had engaged in such practices. It said Google had admitted collecting data while insisting they were not used "in its products and services. The US search engine stressed that it had now removed the data collection software from its vehicles."'"
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Brazil Orders Google To Hand Over Street View Data

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10, 2013 @10:21AM (#45383281)

    ... Failure to do so would mean a daily fine of $50,000, up to a maximum of $500,000. ..

    Oh! We are sooooooo scared!

  • I thought they abandoned that practice after the last debacle.
    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday November 10, 2013 @10:49AM (#45383517)

      I thought they abandoned that practice after the last debacle.

      I thought they wouldn't work with the NSA after they said they wouldn't.

      The WiFi data is far too useful to the NSA for Google to stop collecting it for the NSA.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I thought they abandoned that practice after the last debacle.

        I thought they wouldn't work with the NSA after they said they wouldn't.

        The WiFi data is far too useful to the NSA for Google to stop collecting it for the NSA.

        Exactly. Which is why every fucking Android phone in the known universe reports back all it's WiFi information to Google anyway.

        The practice hasn't stopped. It just became legal and got buried in the EULA you ignore anyway.

  • Email it to them and overflow their inbox

  • by msauve (701917) on Sunday November 10, 2013 @10:37AM (#45383407)
    which thinks it can regulate the laws of physics.

    If you don't want people receiving the wireless signals you broadcast, either don't broadcast them, or shield them so they don't escape. If you only care about the content, encrypt them.
    • This bounces the blame off onto router manufacturers. Plug-and-play shouldn't be something that routers are capable of, but so many people don't want to understand every little thing about a router, they just want their internet, now. They're tired of having to call their nephew/grandson/son (or the female version of all said) to configure everything, so they try to do it themselves. The router manuals never discuss the implications of setting up the router in the default manner. Once granny is able to
      • by msauve (701917)
        Then Granny has a problem, because there are people with intentions much more evil and much more secretive than Google who will be sniffing her wireless.
        • Not sure if you're driving my point further or what. The problem with Google being able to sniff wireless, is due to the wireless being turned on, and no encryption being turned on. To me, this is a problem for common folks, because of the ability for large companies to drive around taking advantage of there being common folks. It's no different than bullying.

          Take Aaron Swartz's case into mind, and compare that to what Google did. Not much difference to me, except for the fact that Aaron did somethin
          • by msauve (701917)
            Google was simply building a location database which associated WiFi MAC addresses with GPS coordinates. The easiest way to do that is simply pcap WiFi while recording GPS coordinates and timestamping both, for post-processing. It takes extra effort to only grab control traffic, ignoring the data. For their purposes, it doesn't matter if encryption is on or not. Although they would have gathered traffic for unencrypted networks, that's not what they were interested in.
            • by icebike (68054)

              It takes extra effort to only grab control traffic, ignoring the data.

              Actually they had intended ALL along to only capture router macs and GPS coordinates but failed to make that change to the hardware. They used common off the shelf Open Source software, and had already identified the patch they needed to apply to drop everything but the mac address from the beacon. Somehow that patch
              never was applied. They had already done ALL the work that was needed. No more additional effort was needed.

              Far more effort was involved changing disk drives in the Streetview cars after the

          • by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday November 10, 2013 @02:37PM (#45385139) Journal

            And why should setting up a router be complicated? Why can't I just put my laptop next to a router, push a button on one or the other or both and have them securely paired via near-field or EHF wireless, photometer, ultrasound, or physical link?

            Most people aren't IT professionals, but do need some IT infrastructure to accomplish their own goals. The mass-produced products should take this into account and offer default options that are both easy and secure.

            • That would be possible, if you could find a very-short-range communication method that would work with any laptop. I don't know of any.

              Furthermore, I've got about a dozen devices in my home that need to connect to my wireless router, and I want my guests to be able to use it also. These devices vary in their input methods. Not all of them have USB or anything useful like that. They don't have ultrasound communications. Some can accept infrared communications of some form, but most can't. Some of th

              • That would be possible, if you could find a very-short-range communication method that would work with any laptop. I don't know of any.

                Bluetooth?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        This bounces the blame off onto router manufacturers. Plug-and-play shouldn't be something that routers are capable of, but so many people don't want to understand every little thing about a router, they just want their internet, now. ...

        If there were clear instructions for setting up a router (or small network) that showed what actions work with the hardware and different software "layers of abstraction", then, routers could be shipped with WiFi off and most anyone capable of reading could install one. As it is now, I often have trouble getting things to work (network printer is the latest headache) because of some setting hidden in an obscure menu or other location.

        Can anyone point to a complete and transparent/useable set of networking

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      This isn't about whether people can receive signals, numbnuts - it's about what people can do with the signals they receive.

      I know the USA is the poster boy for entitlement, but shouting MAH FREEDOMZ! does not get you a free pass to do anything you want, unless perhaps you choose to exit the society which keeps you safe and warm.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      most privacy laws are in place to protect information you're going to have to give out anyhow, otherwise your phone company is going to sell all your data... because gee, why use a phone company for data you don't want them to sell.. geez.

      • by msauve (701917)
        The phone company is a poor example. They make use of public rights-of-way for private commerce, and are subject to regulation in exchange.
      • You know, I have a theory about phone companies (cox voice in this case) I think they sell or find a way to 'share' personal data about subscribers with telemarketing partners.

        Wife and I made the mistake of getting Cox Voice because it was cheap, and being able to send/receive a fax is nice (google voice has too much jitter to really be reliable for faxing). Within 5 minutes of having the handset connected, the telemarketing calls started flooding in. Some of which knew our names and address. (this was a

    • If you don't want people receiving the wireless signals you broadcast, either don't broadcast them, or shield them so they don't escape. If you only care about the content, encrypt them.

      So, when in public, we should all speak in a secret language if we don't want our conversations to be recorded and sold by big corporations?

      • by msauve (701917)
        Why do you artificially limit it to "big corporations?" Are you fine with anyone but big corporations recording and selling your conversations? Perhaps you simply shouldn't discuss things in public which you don't want to be public.
        • What always puzzles me when that thread of arguments is repated, is that one aspect is left out: scale. In my opinion, the technical details of wifi, or even the fact that electronics is involved at all is completely irrelevant.

          So yes, feel free to listen in on my conversations in public. However, if you decide to do so to everybody, everywhere, all the time, it doesn't matter whether you well intended, malicious, Google, or NSA. To me, you're the same enemy of society, privacy and democracy.
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday November 10, 2013 @10:42AM (#45383457)

    $500,000? To one of the biggest companies on Earth? They spend more than that on coffee. Go big or go home, Brazil. :)

    • $500,000? To one of the biggest companies on Earth? They spend more than that on coffee. Go big or go home, Brazil. :)

      that's just how the preexisting law is written, dummy.

    • $500,000? . . . Go big or go home, Brazil. :)

      Ok, 500,000 million billion dollars!

    • by fragfoo (2018548)

      $500,000? To one of the biggest companies on Earth? They spend more than that on coffee. Go big or go home, Brazil. :)

      According to TFA it is not a one-time fine, it is a daily fine (probably until they comply).

    • $500,000? To one of the biggest companies on Earth? They spend more than that on coffee. Go big or go home, Brazil. :)

      This is a quite common idiotic attitude, that a fine should be somehow related to the size of the company. It should be related to the seriousness of whatever they are fined for. It's obvious that a big company will do 10 times more things that are wrong than each of ten companies that are 1/10th of the size. So total fines will be ten times higher, as they should, but each fine should be the same.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So, once you get big enough, you can do the same shit that would take a lesser company out of business and simply write the fines down to operating expenses?

        Punishment for bad behavior should be felt as punishment and if it's on the same level as one's crack-and-whores budget, I don't think it drives the message home. I can afford all the speeding tickets they can throw at me, let's go for a ride!

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday November 10, 2013 @01:17PM (#45384549)

        This is a quite common idiotic attitude, that a fine should be somehow related to the size of

        This is a quite common misunderstanding of what the purpose of a fine is: To act as a deterrent. The EPA used to say $50,000 per infraction for dumping hazardous waste into the ocean. The disposal companies then filmed themselves doing it and turned themselves in because it was cheaper than litigation, so they just confessed, paid the fine, and pocketed the difference. This is still happening today... because the cost of properly disposing of that waste is higher than the cost of the fine.

        Now, you strawman'd the size of the company. But the size of the fine should be at least the cost of the damage done plus a punitive amount to act as a sufficient deterrent. What I'm saying here is that $500,000 is worth less that the money Google will make off using said personal data, and is thus ineffectual. The punitive amount on top of the calculated amount of profits they could make off the data should be high enough to deter Google from doing it in Brazil again... and thus wasting taxpayer dollars prosecuting them.

        • by Sky Cry (872584)

          Now, you strawman'd the size of the company. But the size of the fine should be at least the cost of the damage done plus a punitive amount to act as a sufficient deterrent. What I'm saying here is that $500,000 is worth less that the money Google will make off using said personal data, and is thus ineffectual. The punitive amount on top of the calculated amount of profits they could make off the data should be high enough to deter Google from doing it in Brazil again... and thus wasting taxpayer dollars pr

          • For a fine to be effective, it must be clearly greater than:

            max(cost of damage done, profit taken by doing the harm) / perceived risk of being caught

            This can be difficult to calculate, so there also needs to be a safety factor to ensure all relevant parties agree that the cost is higher. Note that actual risk of being caught and perceived risk of being caught are different things.

            This can be a problem because it can lead to an unjust solution. For instance, the perceived risk of being caught for downloadi

            • by Sky Cry (872584)
              I think the cost of damage is what matters, not profit taken. In fact, if the cost of damage is negligible compared to the profit, something is wrong. With the law or with the perception of the damage. In that case it should probably simply be legal, but expensive. Like cutting down trees can be "paid for" by planting 2 or 3 times as many trees as were cut down.
              • Depends on whether the fine is intended to cover damages or punish and deter illegal behavior. To do the latter, it has to make it more expensive to violate the law than to obey it. In general, I want illegal behavior punished and deterred (although there's a lot of illegal behavior that I think should be legal). That's based on profits.

                Billing for damages is more complicated. It can be easy to determine an action is illegal, but extremely difficult to know what the damages are. What are the damages

        • Why should the Brazilian government discourage Google, when Google is already doing such a good job of collecting information that might be useful to the Brazilian Government?

          But instead of paying Google for that information, it would be better to get that information for free. Better yet, get Google to pay for the privilege of giving that information to the government, while still continuing business as usual.

  • What a Relief (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skywire (469351) * on Sunday November 10, 2013 @10:54AM (#45383561)

    If I were a Brazilian, I'd be soooo relieved to know that now the data would be in the hands not only of Google, but the state.

    • If I were a Brazilian, I'd be soooo relieved to know that now the data would be in the hands not only of Google, but the state.

      If you have a Brazilian, you have nothing to hide. I mean, if you ARE a Brazilian... Sorry about that.

  • Google could have prevented this by moving out of the US and disconnect all ties with its government spooks.
    • In the event that Google moved out of the US and moved to a country where they are twenty times the size, manpower and influence of the country's government, is that the point that some people see 'em as an independent entity on scale with a government and with their own purposes which are indistinguishable from such a government?

      Folks keep going on about the NSA but I'm not really sure which is bigger or more capable, Google or the NSA. Google has nicer campuses. As far as we know...

  • "Handing it over"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fche (36607) on Sunday November 10, 2013 @11:06AM (#45383673)

    The data did not come from Brazilian government. If they are accusing Google of spying on private data, then that private data to the government would be tantamount to spying on Brazilians on the .br government's behalf.

    If data is private to the people, delete it, don't give it to government.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well yeah, but that's legal.

      basically they want to know the data because another government already has that data, so they can fine google some more, possibly for espionage.

      since the data is certain to include something that can be counted as such..

    • You are new to the earth i see, enjoy your stay.

  • " to access private wi-fi networks" I seriously doubt it was hacking their networks. If you don't put a password on your wi-fi... it becomes a "public wi-fi network"...
    • " to access private wi-fi networks" I seriously doubt it was hacking their networks. If you don't put a password on your wi-fi... it becomes a "public wi-fi network"...

      It's like leaving the door to your home open. The contents doesn't become public property. Anyone taking it is still a thief. Anyone entering against your will is still trespassing. Sure, it's stupid and no big surprise if things are gone (depending on your neighbourhood) but it's not public.

      Same with WiFi. Just because my neighbours use unencrypted WiFi, that doesn't mean I can listen to what goes on on their network. I'd probably be able to find software that allows me to do this, but my computer, out

      • Adding to the previous post: Of course my computer can, without any problems, access the internet using your WiFi if it is unencrypted, and if you pay per GB and I download tons of videos it may hurt your pocket. But this is not what this is about. I can't, without specifically written software, find out what _you_ are doing on the network.
      • I once set up a PA for people doing speeches. When the microphone was turned off, the transmissions from the business radio service nearby entered the microphone cable, which worked as a very long, and very bad antenna. I was trying to record the speeches , but was instead recording people's conversations. I had to work frantically to find a way to block their transmissions from getting into my recordings.

        That's why since shortly after the invention of radio the law has been that if you want to transmit,

      • "It's like leaving the door to your home open."

        It is exactly like that, with the sole exception that it is nothing at all like that.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What I'm missing here: what is Brazil going to do with the data?

    If Google "hands it over", nothing stops them from keeping a copy and Brazil has no way to prevent or even check that. So the point can not be preventing Google from having the data.

    So the point seems to be: Brazil wants the data for themselves and $500,000 is cheaper than setting up a spying operation themselves - an operation they could never sell as protecting privacy and computer rights of their citizens.

    Or am I paranoid?

    • Please, somebody, mod this up... It is the only logical explanation for wanting a *copy* and not for them to delete it.

  • who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday November 10, 2013 @11:21AM (#45383781) Homepage Journal

    Really.. if you are broadcasting personal info to the world unencrypted, who cares if its Google or your neighbor collecting it? Its your own damned fault.

    Dont like it, either encrypt or prevent your signal from invading my space ( perhaps ill just sue you for that 2nd part.. )

    • Really.. if you are broadcasting personal info to the world unencrypted,

      You do realize that broadcasting this information is how wifi works, right? This is like saying if you don't want companies to record your keystrokes, you shouldn't use a wireless keyboard, while conveniently ignoring the question why the hell are they doing it anyway?

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Yes i know how it works.

        1 - this topic was about WiFi and you can use encryption if you like
        2 - if you broadcast anything encrypted you are a moron.

  • So software is removed now, it would be interesting to know what it was doing in those car first place.. Google mus have known they would be world in trouble if extent of their snooping comes out.
    • Everybody knows what it was doing in the first place. The cameras were taking pictures. The wifi software was sniffing for SSIDs / network IDs to link them with GPS coords to assist in their WIFI based location services, like several other companies do. The software they assembled to grab the over the air packets was from an open source project. They only needed the network IDs, but the software just grabbed whatever data was in the air. Google's the one that came out first and essentially said, "whoo

  • We know Google sniffed the data it sniffed because they reported themselves for doing it.

    If you think about this technically, there is absolutely zero useful info one could get from such data (other than using it as a source for randomness and even then...).

    All these stories do is punish a company for self-reporting a perceived privacy concern - one which they quickly addressed.

    • If you think about this technically, there is absolutely zero useful info one could get from such data (other than using it as a source for randomness and even then...).

      That depends on who the one is. Given a Kismet trace of a neighborhood, I can tell you which router models people are using to check for vulnerabilities for that model. Or I could use Wash, which is packaged with Reaver, to see which routers have WPS enabled and are vulnerable to the Reaver cracker. The NSA boys probably have neater toys.

      It was actually a brilliant plan. Google drives around the world claiming to take cute pictures of neighborhoods. "Someone else" in the car collects and hacks away.

      A

  • by Solandri (704621) on Sunday November 10, 2013 @02:32PM (#45385097)
    Don't collect the data on your own. Have your users collect it for you [f-secure.com], then secretly take it from their phones. That way if the government has a problem with it, you can just say, "We didn't collect any data, all these people did. They just agreed to share it with us by clicking on an OK button."
  • Guys. The maximum fine isn't US$ 500 000. It is US$ 500 000 per day. So, for the first day they pay 50k, 100k for the second, 150k for the third... and there it goes.

    This fine amounts to roughly 180M annually. If low or high, it's up for debate.

  • Go Google Go! Trash every bunch of bandits/government stooges!

    • Man, the five-digit Slashdot ID users are loonies... I'm not sure this one isn't serious.

      Extended use of Slashdot.org is evil!

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