» Google stores your WiFi password

Ryan Bateman:

Google stores your wifi password if you have an Android phone and sign into it. It stores it in Google’s servers.

This is useful if, as I do fairly regularly, you need to factory-reset a device or to purchase a new one…

But what I can’t help wondering is whether anyone at Google has thought to use this power for evil, and how that would work.

I can see how this would be a small convenience, but typing in my WiFi password when I reconfigure an iPhone or iPad isn’t a huge deal. I’ve let Google do this without realizing it on my Nexus 7, but I don’t really have any plans to wipe the unit and change my WiFi password.

I’m not saying Apple hasn’t or would never do anything questionable, but I am more comfortable with Apple bending the boundaries of these things because I’m their customer, not an advertiser. Yes, I bought the Nexus from Google, but at the $200 I paid last summer it’s clear I’m a commodity rather than a customer.

[Edit: I first edited this entry based on a Tweet by @HeuristicMethod who pointed out that Apple backups also store your WiFi password. But then Darren Rogers pointed out that’s just for local backups. Apple does not store WiFi passwords for iCloud backups. I had thought Apple didn’t store it for either because when you reset an iPhone, the first thing it does when it restarts is asks you for a WiFi password. But then I realized that’s before you apply a backup.]