Real news from the privacy world

Google might have an access to Android users’ Wi-Fi passwords

A new report suggests that Google might have access to all Wi-Fi passwords used by Android users all around the world. If a device (phone or tablet) with Android operating system has ever connected to a particular Wi-Fi network then Google perhaps knows the Wi-Fi password. Considering how many devices with Android OS there are, it is likely that Google has an access to the most Wi-Fi passwords worldwide, says Michael Horowitz from “Computer World”. Research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) tells us there was 187 million Androids worldwide, by the end of June 2013, which is 79% of all mobile phone market share.


It is claimed by privacy advocates that Google’s Android OS has backup tools that indicate a copy of every Android user’s Wi-Fi passwords are saved onto Google servers. New Androids can “suck in” device settings, login data, old passwords once the users have set up their Gmail credentials. Although users can switch this backup function off, but doing so causes them to lose helpful features such as bookmarks. Google commented that you can disable backup feature at any point and it will cause data to be erased.


These news comes when Internet users became very sensitive and careful about the privacy of their personal data. In April 2013, a Google transparency report indicated that the government is asking Google for more data than before. This leaves a question without a clear and straightforward answer: Would Google hand over these password to the government if asked?


The executive Google chairman, Eric Schmidt, has his own opinion about government spying, saying it is the “nature of our society” and we all have to adjust to it. The news on Google stored Wi-Fi passwords came after a report by Der Spiegel which found that NSA has an access to the most smartphone data.

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