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Company Offers WiFi Opt-Out

ONLINE PRIVACY

November 16, 2011

Google has agreed to provide a WiFi opt-out method for users who prefer to keep the names and locations of their wireless routers out of the company's database. The move comes after the company faced increased pressure from data protection authorities in the Netherlands, The New York Times reports. Owners can add a "_nomap" suffix to the end of the router name to opt out. Dutch Data Protection Commissioner Jacob Kohnstamm said, "We all hope that with enforcement actions like these, the bigger firms will use privacy by design from the start so we don't need to go into enforcement action." In a blog post, Google Privacy Chief Peter Fleischer wrote, "we found that a method based on wireless network names provides the right balance of simplicity as well as protection against abuse." Meanwhile, a "majority of MPs" say the option does not go far enough. (Registration may be required to access this story.)  
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