A report issued by the Federal Communications Commission reveals that the Google engineer responsible for collecting private information via wireless networks from Street View cars repeatedly told his colleagues about the controversial nature of what was happening.
The Guardian reports that Google has posted a copy of the US Federal Communication Commission’s report online in the interests of transparency. It reveals that one of the engineers on the team responsible for the Street View software informed other colleagues — including a senior manager — that it was designed to collect personal information in 2007 and again in 2008.
Back in 2010, it became known that Google had collected masses of data — including emails and text messages — from Wi-Fi networks when its Street View cars drove around cities. The practice went on for three years before coming to a halt. About the new report, a spokesman for Google told The Guardian:
“We decided to voluntarily make the entire document available except for the names of individuals. While we disagree with some of the statements made in the document, we agree with the FCC’s conclusion that we did not break the law. We hope that we can now put this matter behind us.”
All in, Google has gotten away pretty lightly over the whole issue. In the end, the FCC has only fined Google $US25,000 over the entire thing, and even that was only for impeding the FCC’s investigation. [The Guardian]