In any case, this database certainly isn't accidental, considering that the Google Maps car has been collecting SSIDs as it went along, causing a furore in Germany.
They have your mobile device's GPS data, they know which routers they access, and they know exactly where those are located. I can see applications for this.
Speaking of routers, you should also consider threats coming from the inside of the network.
Around 2009 I bought a terabyte network drive, for backing up and/or sharing data from individual computers. The manufacturer's name is an antonym of Eastern Analog. I had already bought a few such devices over the years from various sources, which all proved to be utter failures for one reason or another. Either the software was broken, or the device itself broke down. My latest acquisition did not disappoint me, at least initially.
Last year I did some routine configuration on my router, and incidentally blocked all incoming and outgoing internet access for the drive. I had no particular suspicion or reason for doing this, but thought it was good hygiene.
I was flabbergasted when I started seeing the router's log filling with rejected requests, which mostly concerned ICMP packets.
Here are some of the IP addresses the drive was apparently attempting to ping or connect to:
22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124
The sample covers hardly one half hour of traffic, and the IPs are spread all over the planet.
I am entrusting private and possibly sensitive data to this drive. I would NEVER have expected such a device to establish ANY kind of outside connection without my knowledge or consent.
What in hell is it trying to ping Pakistan or Belize or Saudi Arabia?
There isn't a word in the documentation about this, and I have scoured the internet to find out whether other people have noticed this. To no avail.
I have renewed the firmware on the thing in case it had been befallen by some kind of worm, but the behaviour remained unchanged. On the face of it, it appears to try to build some kind of network map. After about two years of traffic filtering this type of rejection has quieted down, suggesting that there was an internal list of active IP addresses that was being maintained, but the device still attempts to find out what nodes are in the neighbourhood.
Stupid feature, stupid programming, or is there something more sinister at play. I'd have to look into this with a packet analyser, but the router blocking should be enough, as long as Mr. Google doesn't try to come in through the RF channel.