Dutch watchdog: Google WiFi data plan looks okay

November 16, 2011

Google Inc.'s plan to let people "opt out" of having their wireless network data used by the company's location services such as StreetView may be clumsy, but the Netherlands' privacy watchdog says it adheres to the letter of the law.

Google privacy lawyer Peter Fleischer wrote on a company blog that users can now opt out by appending the phrase "-nomap" to the end of their WiFi network's name.

The move was apparently made Tuesday to comply with a Dutch court order. More than 30 countries have complained about Google's use of WiFi data.

Spokeswoman Saskia Bierling of the Netherlands' CBP said Wednesday an opt-out system is acceptable because wifi location data is not considered highly personal, and location services are useful.

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