All, this data was being publicly broadcast to anyone (and not just Google) who would care to see it. They didn't have to break into your house or network to get it. If I posted private data on a sign outside my house and the Street View cameras captured that in a photo, would Google then be invading my privacy?
No one is accusing Google of doing anything improper with the data. Rather Google is being accused of keeping data that people broadcast (perhaps published or delivered may be a more apt description) to them.
What WiFI Eavesdroppers See on Unsecured Networks
Introduction To Wireshark
Fortunately, things are getting better. With the more recent versions of PC operating systems (both Windows and Mac) setting up a network has gotten easier. Recent TV commercials for Cisco's Valet networking appear to make it simple to set up a secure wireless network. The commercials tout the ease of setup but only hint that the network is secured (which it is). Cisco's Valet Free Shipping Order online store
This concept is great, and I'm sure we'll see similar offerings from others. Although I'm tempted to scream, "What took you so long?"--I'm glad it's now available.
We still have to large tasks ahead of us. The first is to continually educate people about the need to secure their networks. Second is to figure out a way to handle all of those existing unsecured networks out there.