Brad Stone writes:
On Friday, Google made a stunning admission: for over three years, it has 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 collects as its camera-toting cars methodically troll through cities and neighborhoods, and what Google does with that data.
Read more in the New York Times. Basically, Google is saying that they had a privacy-invading “oopsie” by using code that sampled payload data and not just SSID information and MAC addresses. As a consequence, they will be disposing of all of the private data they collected and are discontinuing having Street View cars collecting WiFi network data entirely. Google also takes the opportunity to remind people of the dangers of unsecured WiFi networks.
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