In the wake of mistakenly collecting Wi-Fi payload information, Google announced that they would no longer use their Street View cars to collect information on the locations of Wi-Fi networks. Yesterday, the company released a report on Street View and it stated that “collection is discontinued and Google has no plans to resume it.” The issue as to whether or not Google would find out why the cars were collecting the data, rectify it and than resume using the cars was up in the area since the discovery this summer, but this statement by privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, seems to lay it all to rest.
It seems that Google will now gain that information from users’ handsets. Mobile users that utilize Google Maps for Mobile Navigation should already be aware that the application locates nearby wireless networks for the purpose of knowing where a device is in relation to where the user is trying to navigate to. Users do have the ability to opt-out of this setting, but should be warned that doing so might disable their ability to use wireless hotspots to triangulate their locations for navigational purposes.