Google Says That It Collected Data from Open Wi-Fi Networks by Accident
May 17, 2010 10:24 AM
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Google's Street View cameras were capturing quite a bit more than what was originally intended.
Google maintains it didn't realize the data was being collected
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RE: Before we begin here...
5/17/2010 8:22:59 PM
Not to defend Google, but I CAN see how it may have happened accidentally. It would not take but a few lines of code to add packet sniffing capabilities to an otherwise innocuous access point scanner. In addition, addressing a comment in another post, it would be easy to gather 600GB of data once you take into account that the system is automated and would have been spread out over a large number of vehicles. It's not necessarily like all the data would have been sent to a central storage device; if it was a genuine accident it's probably still on the computers that were in the car at the time.
I am also curious. What use would Google have for ~1/5th of a second's worth of data from any particular open router?
I personally have a little more faith in Google than I do in the average Big Company, but news such as this makes me concerned. It could be an innocence accident, or it could be a ruse to test the waters. A company like Google bears a huge burden if it's to maintain its crown as information king, yet still retain the trust of its users. Things like this damage that trust even in those such as myself.
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