Google Street View was spying on you
Seriously, Google's Street View was spying on you, and Google is very, very sorry about it and if all you government agencies around the world investigating this mess would please leave them alone now that they've apologized for it they'd really appreciate it.
Here's what happened: Google has long had its Street View cars collect mapping data by triangulating Wi-Fi hot spots. This isn't that big a deal: lots of other companies have used similar data to help mobile phone users get a sense of their location when GPS signals aren't available. But Google apparently didn't realize (or planned all along, depending on who you believe) that the equipment was also capturing and storing real data: e-mails, passwords, and basically anything sent over an unsecured wireless access point. The total amount of data captured was limited, but it doesn't take much to horrify privacy advocates and delight plaintiff's lawyers. Across the pond, the U.K's information commissioner even said Google's collection of data was "not fair or lawful."
Google issued several statements along the lines of "our bad," and so far has escaped any serious penalties. But it's easily the biggest oopsie by the search giant, and the final accounting may prove expensive.
November 24, 2010 12:48 PM PST
Photo by: James Martin/CNET
| Caption by: CNET News staff
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