We’re introducing a method that lets you opt out of having your wireless access point included in the Google Location Server. To opt out, visit your access point’s settings and change the wireless network name (or SSID) so that it ends with “_nomap.” For example, if your SSID is “Network,” you‘d need to change it to “Network_nomap.”
This sounds wonderful. Until you think about it. Because most people never change the SSID or WPA key on their routers, most DSL and cable services now preconfigure a unique SSID and WPA key before even shipping the router to consumers. So Google is saying here: "only the most technically skilled or privacy aware people can avoid having their wireless routers mapped and publically displayed."
If this action wasn't malevolent, it was stupid. The proper action is to make privacy the default. Let those who wish to be mapped be the ones who take special action to enable it. This is bad. Really bad. As in re-evaluating any ties to bigG bad.
No, this does not match Microsoft, which runs "Genuine Advantage" snoopware every time you start your (Microsoft Windows) computer and sends unspecified information back to Redmond, WA. The same Microsoft which has also been mapping WiFi access points for display on the internet.
Still, that this follows so closely on the #nymwars / real names policy fallacy on Google+ seems, to me, to indicate that something has changed inside the bowels of Google the corporation. Whatever that is, seems to smell of the kind of decaying morals once thought to reside only in Redmond. I don't think I like this new Google.