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News Google and Apple - WiFi AP's and mapping

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sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
This is pretty interesting - Both Google and Apple have mapped out billions of WiFi access points to support their location based services API's...

Think of things like Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, and many other location based services - remember that your smartphones also support GNSS services (GPS, Glonass, etc), so as soon as a new AP is commissioned, that SSID, MAC Address, BSSID, and GNSS coordinates are reported back to Apple, Google, Facebook, etc...

That being said, you can opt-out your Access Points by adding "_nomap" to the SSID name, and both Google and Apple have agreed not to add those AP's to their datasets...

I bring this up as there are use-cases where mapping of AP's may not be desired due to political conflicts, etc - Think of a Starlink User Terminal on the steppes of the Ukraine, and it wouldn't been good to have that Access Point mapped out so some Orc can direct some artillery fire or a drone to take it out.

Google Guide


Apple - need to scroll down a bit, or just hit CMD-F and search for nomap


More background here...

 
Good article. I've recently been looking into this 10+ year-old issue. Good to know that Apple recently decided to honor "_nomap". I've come to the conclusion it might not mean much, as Google and other entities have been said to be ignoring the string. And any app that has Location Services permission can (and has shown to be in some cases) uploading that info to themselves. Any person can do some war-driving and get the same info for third-party maps (this idea is not exclusive to Google and Apple). MS is said to have stopped collecting this data a few years ago (MS had their own SSID modifier). Honoring this modifier is strictly voluntary, and that is only 2 entities out of how many?

Knowing all this, I've (mostly) decided not to bother, though I still struggle with making a hard decision in my mind because I want to not my have my SSID's in their dbs.

Anyone know how to see Apple's and Google's SSID maps?
 

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