I was reading a Hacker News piece about Amazon opting out of Google’s FLoC and I learned something even more interesting. Google and Microsoft have been using information of WiFi networks, including residential properties, for location tracking purposes. It’s mind blowing that companies are able to make decisions as such. These requests must be opt-in, vs being an opt-out which is the case today.
Apparently this has been a thing for over a decade, and the earliest article that I could find on this is this blog post from Google where they outline a way to opt-out one’s access points and routers from this location tracking service. It’s fairly straightforward — one has to append
_nomap to their router SSID.
As for Microsoft’s equivalent of opting-out, one may add
_optout to any part of the router’s SSID.
To chain both opt-outs,
_optout_nomap must do the trick. I did so on both bands on router – 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz.
This is generally done by accessing the web-based software for your WiFi router and somewhere on the settings menu, you will see an option to change its name.