Google Street View to stop capturing wifi data

Google says it will no longer collect wifi network information for its Street View mapping service after “mistakenly” gathering personal wireless data.”Maintaining people’s trust is crucial to everything we do, and in this case we fell short,” said Alan Eustace, a Google senior vice president for engineering and research, in a blog post.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/15/2900267.htmAlso see:Google admits wi-fi data collection blunder
Google has admitted that for the past three years it has wrongly collected information people have sent over unencrypted wi-fi networks.The issue came to light after German authorities asked to audit the data the company’s Street View cars gathered as they took photos viewed on Google maps.Google said during a review it found it had “been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open networks”.

John Simpson, from the Consumer Watchdog, told the BBC: “The problem is [Google] have a bunch of engineers who push the envelope and gather as much information as they can and don’t think about the ramifications of that.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8684110.stmGoogle Says It Collected Private Data by Mistake
Google said on Friday that for more than three years it had inadvertently collected snippets of private information that people send over unencrypted wireless networks.The admission, made in an official blog post by Alan Eustace, Google’s engineering chief, comes a month after regulators in Europe started asking the search giant pointed questions about Street View, the layer of real-world photographs accessible from Google Maps. Regulators wanted to know what data Google collected as its camera-laden cars methodically trolled through neighborhoods, and what Google did with that data.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/15/business/15google.htmlWiFi data collection: An update
Nine days ago the data protection authority (DPA) in Hamburg, Germany asked to audit the WiFi data that our Street View cars collect for use in location-based products like Google Maps for mobile, which enables people to find local restaurants or get directions. His request prompted us to re-examine everything we have been collecting, and during our review we discovered that a statement made in a blog post on April 27 was incorrect.In that blog post, and in a technical note sent to data protection authorities the same day, we said that while Google did collect publicly broadcast SSID information (the WiFi network name) and MAC addresses (the unique number given to a device like a WiFi router) using Street View cars, we did not collect payload data (information sent over the network). But it’s now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks, even though we never used that data in any Google products.However, we will typically have collected only fragments of payload data because: our cars are on the move; someone would need to be using the network as a car passed by; and our in-car WiFi equipment automatically changes channels roughly five times a second. In addition, we did not collect information traveling over secure, password-protected WiFi networks.So how did this happen? Quite simply, it was a mistake.
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/wifi-data-collection-update.htmlGoogle accidentally gathered WiFi data
Google reversed course on Friday and admitted it had accidentally collected information sent over unsecured wireless networks in homes it had photographed for its Street View service.Google photographs homes from public streets, using a fleet of company cars.To better pinpoint addresses for people using Google’s location services, the cars also harvest data from wireless networks in the homes, provided they had not been secured by passwords.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/8a23b394-5fab-11df-a670-00144feab49a.htmlGoogle halts Street View Wi-Fi data collection
Google said Friday it will no longer collect WiFi network information for its Street View mapping service after “mistakenly” gathering personal wireless data.”Maintaining people’s trust is crucial to everything we do, and in this case we fell short,” Alan Eustace, a Google senior vice president for engineering and research, said in a blog post.
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/security/google-halts-street-view-wifi-data-collection-20100515-v4wg.html
http://www.theage.com.au/technology/security/google-halts-street-view-wifi-data-collection-20100515-v4wg.htmlGoogle admits collecting Wi-Fi data through Street View cars
Google has been accidentally gathering extracts of personal web activity from private wifi networks through the Street View cars it has used since 2007, it said last night.It was discovered as a result of a data audit demanded by Germany’s data protection authority, and is likely to inflame critics of Google concerned about the web giant’s use of private data.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/may/15/google-admits-storing-private-dataGoogle admits its Street View cars spied on wi-fi activity
Google’s Street View cars have been spying on people’s internet use for three years, the search giant admitted last night. It had been scooping up snippets of people’s online activities broadcast over unprotected home and business wi-fi networks.Google admitted that the cars’ radio antennae snooped on e-mails and other bits of information when the vehicles trundled through towns and cities. Google said that the data was collected only in short bursts as the vehicles passed by, and was never used.
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article7127478.ece

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