Print 20 comment(s) - last by ShaolinSoccer.. on Mar 14 at 12:38 PM

Google also agreed to destroy all of this data collected in the U.S.

Google is finally settling a three-year investigation this week into a Wi-Fi incident that occurred when compiling data for its mapping service.

Google's Street View mapping cars had accidentally collected personal data, such as home wireless network passwords, between 2008 and 2010. The cars were out collecting images and data for the Street View mapping system in Google Maps, and were using an experimental computer code in the cars' software while doing so. This led to the accidental collection of personal data.

The settlement orders that Google split $7 million among 38 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia, which were involved in the incident. Google also agreed to destroy all of this data collected in the U.S. (it's still working things out with European countries, where the same incident occurred).

Google will also deploy employee education programs that fill them in about user privacy, and will also launch a campaign about protecting information on wireless networks.

While Google has now been punished for its incident, some are not happy with the amount of the fine. For instance, Steve Pociask, the president of the American Consumer Institute, said that $7 million is nothing to a huge tech company like Google and likely won't ward off any further intrusions of privacy.

Google had a revenue of $50.2 billion in 2012 and $10.7 billion in net income.

Source: Reuters

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stealing wifi passwords?
By yofa42 on 3/13/2013 11:12:59 AM , Rating: 2
Google's Street View mapping cars had accidentally collected personal data, such as home wireless network passwords, between 2008 and 2010.

i don't think that's right. it was just big data google doing big data activities, which included downloading everything that was made openly available. but not by breaking into secured wireless networks. it just downloaded everything available from open, unsecured wi-fi networks.

still wrong, don't get me twisted. but it's the difference between rape and having consensual relations with an obviously drunk individual.

RE: stealing wifi passwords?
By Nortel on 3/13/2013 11:46:12 AM , Rating: 1
Let me sit down and accidentally write code to:
collect personal data, such as home wireless network passwords, etc..

Yea, right... accidental.

RE: stealing wifi passwords?
By Souka on 3/13/2013 12:01:21 PM , Rating: 2
How does one download a wireless network password?

Does download = hack to obtain the passcode?

RE: stealing wifi passwords?
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/13/2013 12:05:47 PM , Rating: 3
He is an idiot and obviously has no clue what he is talking about. Best just to ignore Nortroll.

RE: stealing wifi passwords?
By RufusM on 3/14/2013 11:12:45 AM , Rating: 1
Here's what happened as I understand it:

Google's code was designed to capture 250KB of data when it communicated with each WiFi router for the purposes of matching GPS coordinates with the WiFi location. In some cases, unsecured WiFi routers allowed them to capture some unsecured information such as passwords, emails, etc.

Google was ordered to destroy the captured information. They did then communicated it was completed, except it was later found that a Google engineer had kept a number of drive backups, so they really didn't comply with the data destruction order which is what got them the large fine.

RE: stealing wifi passwords?
By Trisped on 3/13/2013 4:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
Most home routers do not have a secure log in page. If the owner logs into the router using their open (unsecured) WiFi then anyone within range can record both the username and password sent to the router.

Note: logging into your router is different then entering the network security key. You enter the network security key the first time you connect to your secured wireless network. You log into the router when you want to change a configuration setting, like forwarding a port or changing the network security key.

RE: stealing wifi passwords?
By ShaolinSoccer on 3/14/2013 12:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
Most people who are using unsecured wireless routers never bothered to log into their router to change any settings and probably never will. All they did was plug in the router, turn on their laptop and connected to it. There are lots of people who do this unfortunately. All companies that make wireless routers should include something that screams "You MUST secure your router or your data WILL be compromised!".

RE: stealing wifi passwords?
By sprockkets on 3/13/2013 6:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't think so either, but Google themselves said they picked up passwords.

Obviously they were not encrypted. Any site that is secure would encrypt those kind of things, like banks. Email providers in the past didn't require that.

By inperfectdarkness on 3/14/2013 3:55:34 AM , Rating: 2
7m is sofa change for google. some "punishment".

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
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