theodp writes "While waiting for a hard disk of Wi-Fi data that Google says its Street View cars gathered by mistake, the Hamburg Information Commissioner's office performed tests on a Google Street View car in a controlled environment with simulated wireless networks and issued the following statement: 'For the Wi-Fi coverage in the Street View cars, both the free software Kismet, and a Google-specific program were used. The Google-specific program components are available only in machine-readable binary code, which makes it impossible to analyze the internal processing.' Interestingly, a 2008 academic paper — Drive-by Localization of Roadside WiFi Networks (PDF) — describes a similar setup, and its authors discuss how they 'modified Kismet, a popular wireless packet sniffer, to optionally capture all packets received on the raw virtual interface.' Computerworld reports that lawyers in a class-action suit have amended their complaint to link a Google patent app to Street View data sniffing."
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