Google Street View
Turns out that this particular case was one of several government investigations examining how Google's Street View cars actually collected the personal and private data of individuals via wireless networks while mapping cities in more than 30 countries. The cars were supposed to collect just the locations of Wi-Fi access points but inadvertently also collected e-mail and text messages, passwords, Internet-usage history, and other data from unsecured wireless networks for four years. Google said that it didn't do anything purposely untoward while the government countered that, yes, there actually was a much bigger problem in the way companies treat the (supposedly) private information of people in our ever-increasing cyber lives.
Google blamed a lone engineer acting without authorization, though the government claims that several people -- including a manager -- had been informed. The Federal Communications Commission was exasperated with Google's cooperation, ultimately fining the company $25,000 and complaining in a report that Google had obstructed its investigation.
May 2, 2012 1:17 PM PDT
Photo by: Apple
| Caption by: Charles Cooper, James Martin
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