Saturday, May 15, 2010

Oh, Crap... Surely Not Google!

Whatever Happened To 'Don't Be Evil'?
Google Private Data Collection: Company ADMITS Snooping Via WiFi Networks
Huffington Post    |  Bianca Bosker  First Posted: 05-14-10 05:11 PM   |   Updated: 05-14-10 05:40 PM

In a blog post published Friday, Google admitted to 'mistakenly' collecting sensitive private data sent over WiFi networks.

Germany's data protection authority (DPA) requested Google audit the WiFi data collected by its Street View cars. The audit revealed that contrary to the company's claims, for at least three years, Google has been collecting payload data (the information users send over a wireless network) from non-password-protected WiFi networks. A programming error from 2006 was at fault.

So it was "unintentional." And they're gonna delete it as soon as they can identify the toxic stuff. I wonder how long one or more Google employees has been aware of it... and whether any of them sampled it for their own purposes.

Street View is kind of spooky anyway. In the early days, I played with it endlessly, actually using it legitimately a couple of times (finding and viewing a camera repair shop I had not been to before, showing a friend one rent house into which we might move). Then I realized I could ALMOST see my own apt.; it was just barely too far off a main street. I'd be willing to bet the "almost" has been remedied by now. But I tried to reassure myself by the real fuzziness of the pics, and by Google's "don't be evil" philosophy.

Now I wonder why I was ever so trusting...

1 comment:

  1. Google Earth sure comes in handy when searching for rentals from out-of-state. Why, in one place, Street View showed us a place where you could practically see the cat pee stains on the living room rug through the broken blinds! But, certain 'secret' Russian mountain sites were blurred out.



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