Google, under pressure from privacy regulators in the Netherlands, said Tuesday that it had agreed to give people around the world the option of keeping the names and locations of their home or business Wi-Fi routers out of a company database.
Google uses the data to help pinpoint the location of cellphones and other mobile devices within broadcast range of the routers. That information is useful for weather and mapping services, among other things, and can allow Google to show relevant advertising for nearby businesses.
Under the agreement, which was announced by Google and the Dutch Data Protection Authority, owners of Wi-Fi routers can add “_nomap” to the end of a router’s name to tell Google that they do not want its information included.
If many people opt out of the registry, Google’s ability to offer location-based services could be compromised. The company would then have to use ...
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