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Google's Privacy Mess Gets Worse: It Collected Wi-Fi Data in the U.S., Not Just Europe

May 24, 2010, 03:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Erik Sherman)

"I realized that Google's public comments on the story left unclear whether parts of the world other than Europe might have been affected. I asked Google whether what it did with Street View in Europe also occurred in the U.S. and if the company had intercepted and recorded data from Wi-Fi systems in this country. Here's the answer I received from Jill Hazelbaker a director of corporate communications at Google:

""Hi Eric [sic], we mistakenly collected this data in the U.S. as well as everywhere we drive the street view cars. Thanks, Jill

"My understanding from numerous discussions I've had with many legal and security experts is that it's illegal in the U.S. to record information transmitted over a Wi-Fi network, even if the network is unencrypted."

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