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Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Google Embraces Opt-Out Plan for WiFi Mapping

BONN, Germany (CN) - Google made a deal with the Dutch Data Protection Authority last week allowing people with wireless Internet networks to opt out of being mapped.

The agreement removes the possibility of a $1.35 million fine against the web giant.

Operators of networks that do not want to be mapped must add the suffix "_nomap" to the end of their network name.

Google uses the mapping of networks to assist in locating the Google user, which theoretically allows for quicker searches, better services and the like.

"We hope that over time the '_nomap' string will be adopted universally," Google's global privacy counsel wrote in an official blog post.

The post also mentioned that Google "can do more to address privacy concerns."

Google also agreed to erase the network names it collected in the Netherlands so far, which include data on 3.6 million wireless routers there from 2009 and 2010.

The Dutch authority alleged that a wireless network name saved in connection with a geolocation violated the Netherlands' Data Protection Act.

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