Google knows every Wi-Fi password entered from an Android device

Google knows every Wi-Fi password entered from an Android device
Here's a disturbing story. A published report on Saturday says that Google keeps a log of every Wi-Fi password ever entered into an Android device. According to the story, the list is not for human consumption which still doesn't take away from the idea that your Wi-Fi password is sitting inside a file at Mountain View. Android phones since Android 2.2 have sent back to Google the Wi-Fi password as a default setting on the handset.

Since it probably went right by most Android users, let's look at two builds. In Android 2.3.4, go to Settings and then Privacy. Om  HTC models, Google gets your Wi-Fi password from an option called "Back up my settings," while on a Samsung device the naughty option reads "Back up my data." The unfortunate thing is that nowhere is Wi-Fi mentioned. The description reads "Back up current settings and application data."

In Android 4.2, go to Settings and then Backup and reset. The option is called "Back up my data," and the description for it reads "Back up application data, Wi-Fi passwords, and other settings to Google servers".

If you want your mind boggled, consider that we are not talking about one Wi-Fi network at home. We are talking about every Wi-Fi network your Android phone logged into including the McDonald's down the street, or that Adult Film store that used to be a PhotoHut down the street. While Android users can opt out, all of this information could be turned over to law enforcement officials if Google is compelled to do so.

Did you ever buy a new Android phone, enter your Google account information, and the new phone instantly hooked up with your router? Google can decrypt the stored Wi-Fi passwords with just a Gmail username and password.

It might be too late for your original password, but it is not too late to opt out of Google's storing of your Wi-Fi password. Once you've done that, you should change your Wi-Fi password. And if this whole thing shocks you, you might be a little too trusting of those who hold your wireless life in their hands.

source: Computerworld via RedmondPie

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116 Comments

1. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Fear mongering. Why worry, are they going to use my bandwidth? Bte, Your porn shop offers free Wi-Fi, secondly and you use it? Not everything washed off.

33. criticism

Posts: 46; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

This is just a sample of what Google is spying from our life! I think it even knows when I usually go to WC and sleep with ...!!!

43. maysider

Posts: 38; Member since: Aug 11, 2013

Do you think Google needs our password to connect their servers? :) It's just for us so we don't need to remember that And worry more about Apple's great vulnerabilities and Windows back doors and NSA The article is probably paid by Microsoft or US gov who are scared of open source

44. darkkjedii

Posts: 30972; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

This article is about google, not apple or MS. stop trying to deflect the obvious. Google is spying on you.

60. maysider

Posts: 38; Member since: Aug 11, 2013

Google is spying because I want him to save my Wi-Fi passwords so I don't need to remember that? What is the reason Google would want the Wi-Fi passwords? Because their connection is expensive so they need ours? :-D Can you read it? Funny logic you have, right? Aren't you an Apple user? I bet that :)

71. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

how do you suppose a multi billion dollar company cant afford wifi ? second they must have 1 helluva antenna to steal my wifi from canada

73. darkkjedii

Posts: 30972; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Google is an it, not a him.

66. adk199

Posts: 23; Member since: Oct 04, 2012

I don't think it's called spying when I give info to them. They have my credit card # and only God knows what not. It's my decision to give the information or not. If I wouldn't give the info to Google you could call it spying if they tried to obtain the info without my knowledge :-) You call it spying I call it convenient :-) Google even remembers my damned password to this site which I wouldn't be able to remember otherwise (or bother)

70. oister85

Posts: 508; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

,@ darkkjedii if google want to spy they can we give them permision to do it. There's millions of google users around the word, do you think google has the power to spy all of them NO.

72. GoBears

Posts: 456; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Says the notorious Apple fanboy darkjedi. I give them this data to store and restore for me, that's not spying. Oh yeah, all you icloud suckers are storing more than this.

75. darkkjedii

Posts: 30972; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Calm down. Google says you're entering it wrong lol.

79. papss unregistered

Read what he was responding too.. There was a noob saying apple and M$ give to the NSA but conveniently left out google which is false. Works both ways fandroids.

82. darkkjedii

Posts: 30972; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Thanx for enlightening him papss. Fandroids feel google can do no wrong, android "users" actually have eyesight. +1

97. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

I just feel like all these "privacy invasion" stories are getting out of hand. Just journalists trying to scare readers and to milk more views, regardless of which company they're "exposing".

107. darkkjedii

Posts: 30972; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Agreed, it really is. +1

88. jacko1977

Posts: 428; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

have you got something to hide ?

90. darkkjedii

Posts: 30972; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yeah my pass code, that's why it's called a pass code...duhhh lol.

110. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Microsoft's Win8 does the same thing with an login account.

50. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

"Do you think Google needs our password to connect their servers? :)" Do you think you would have asked the same question if Apple had done it? :)

105. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Just like SIRI taking every word u speak to it sends it directly to Apple servers. I dont see anyone writing bout that nor the iph5s ID finger sensor goes to the NSA.

59. volcano

Posts: 348; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

1 word : paranoid

62. maysider

Posts: 38; Member since: Aug 11, 2013

Like NSA US gov fascistic spying is a paranoia? :-D

67. Ant34

Posts: 193; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

It is. What do you think the government is going to do if it's spying on you?

80. papss unregistered

They do it to google too fanboy. Don't be dumb.

93. volcano

Posts: 348; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

paranoid when you thought microsoft payed for this article

61. designerfx

Posts: 76; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

actually, the website it comes from is redmondpie. what company works at remond, hmmmmm? might it be one that wants google to sound bad? /facepalm

89. tedkord

Posts: 17318; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

BS. Who didn't know this? How did people think when you sign into your Google account on a new phone or a new rom on the same phone, it magically knows password already?

113. pauloh

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 16, 2013

What about Apple and Microsoft are they saints? Credit cards companies and banks? Have you ever bought something and without giving your address or e-mail address started to receive messages or letters about other products from the same family? A week after my daughter was born I’ve got a box from Nestle with a sample of their formula? Privacy is dead since the first communication device was invented. Today our life is as public as the Metro toilet. You must see the following video: As I can't publish URLs , please look on Youtube for the following title: Steven Rambam. Privacy is Dead - Get Over It

58. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

Yeah I really don't think it's a big deal... Oh btw Amazon has your CCN stored on their servers!!! Everybody freak out!

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