Google stores WPA keys and SSIDs

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Google stores WPA keys and SSIDs

But the service is optional.

Google's Wi-Fi data storage practices could be more risky than previously expected, according to a Tech Republic blog which claims the search giant is storing user WPA keys and SSIDs in the cloud.

The news spooked some users concerned that storing keys and SSIDs externally would expose them to unneccessary risk.

But not all Android users were shocked at the news: storage of Wi-Fi is a voluntary opt-in service that appears as part of the platform's installation proceedure.

During the fourth step of the installation process, users are informed: "Your Google and some third-party applications' settings and other data such as bookmarks and WiFi can be backed up to Google servers, with your Google Account."

Users can opt out of the service.

However, it raises issues about the ownership of keys, and whether or not users have the right to share them.

On the other hand, Wi-Fi passwords can be cracked through means easier than intercepting keys sent to a Google account.

Google's hunger for user data is well documented. It was yesterday laid bare after a CNET US investigation found it had collected location information on mobile devices that had tethered wireless access.

The search giant had not distinguished between a static access point and a mobile, and had plotted the location of tethered mobiles locations on its mapping service.

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia

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