Google Street View Cars Inadvertently Collected Personal Data Through WiFi Networks

Posted May 15, 2010

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) had inadvertently collected personal data on individuals since 2006 when putting together a photo archive for the Google Street View service. Google engineering chief Alan Eustace said that the information was sent over unencrypted residential wireless networks as Google Street View cars with mounted recording equipment drove around.

Data was collected in countries such as Germany, Britain, France, and the United States. All of the data will be deleted in conjunction as part of regulations.

?Based on the information we have before us, it appears that Google has illegally tapped into private networks in violation of German law,? stated Ilse Aigner, German federal minister for food, agriculture, and consumer protection. ?This is alarming and further evidence that privacy law is a foreign concept to Google.? [Google Blog via NY Times]