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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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Is there such a thing
By Ammohunt on 3/13/2013 11:39:04 AM , Rating: 2
As being too informed? My address and license plate numbers are freely visible to anyone driving by my house and if I were foolish to run an open wireless access point that as well. It seems to me that the above information only becomes a problem when is collected and made available to everyone on the earth.




RE: Is there such a thing
By NellyFromMA on 3/13/2013 1:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think you have to take it a step further. A better analogy would be if people drove passed your house, took pictures including that of your cars and plates, and then did that for every house on your street and neighborhood, city, state...

You could argue either way on whether its an actionable offense or not at that level but now an entity could reconstruct a database and do WHO KNOWS WHAT with information that was never meant to be public in the first place.

It's not the individual incidents, its the collection of this information for purposes it was not intended for.


RE: Is there such a thing
By sprockkets on 3/13/2013 2:25:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think you have to take it a step further. A better analogy would be if people drove passed your house, took pictures including that of your cars and plates, and then did that for every house on your street and neighborhood, city, state...


People already have the means to do this, legally. Tow truck companies can use the same systems the police do to scan every vehicle going by to see if it a repo. They then will legally tow that vehicle away. One such person said even with the system costing thousands of dollars it has more than paid itself many times with the profit he gets.


RE: Is there such a thing
By Trisped on 3/13/2013 5:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think you have to take it a step further. A better analogy would be if people drove passed your house, took pictures including that of your cars and plates, and then did that for every house on your street and neighborhood, city, state...
That analogy would work if you also included the fact that all the home owners were given black plastic and poles to obscure the view of those passing by.

The fact is that all wireless routers of the time had at least WEP level security built in. If the users really cared about their privacy they would have either secured the network or used a wired connection instead of broadcasting it so anyone within range could get it.


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