Google Staff Knew All Along About The Street View Data Breach

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]

Image: AP



    $25,000 fine for a multi-billion dollar company that has stolen information off everyone?

    This is why no-one takes the justice system seriously.

    Well, that and cases like that psycho starting the fires and killing over 10 people only getting 18 years.

      As much as a don't like the appearance of rushing to the defence of Google, this issue has been distorted quite a bit. If I yell loud enough in my house my neighbours' can hear what I'm saying, I can't really blame them for listening. A polite neighbour might come and tell me to keep my voice down as they can hear what I'm saying.
      Data from unencrypted open networks transmitted by the foolish and there for anyone to who cared to listen, was recorded by Google as they drove past. Google did not unlawfully access any computers. It's hard to imagine what practical use random fragments of information collected in this manner might be other than a real-time survey of stupidity. Unethical, I agree; unlawful no.

    The moral of the story: once you are in Big Data, the law is just another piece of data to you.

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