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Privacy Blowup: French, US Officials Home In on Google Street View

Jun 25, 2010, 13:03 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kimberly Hil)

"Google has claimed Street View's collection of data leaking from unsecured WiFi networks was inadvertent, but that rings disingenuous to Mark Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "I don't know how you do something by accident over three years and in 30 countries," he remarked.

"France has become the latest country to investigate potential wrongdoing on the part of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Street View, the hyper-local image service. The cars used to carry cameras to gather images for Street View did indeed capture passwords from private individuals' WiFi transmissions over unencrypted networks, found the French National Commission on Computing and Liberty.

"Google's last official word on the subject was a retraction, in the Google Official Blog, of its previous assertion that it did not capture transmitted data ("payloads") but rather gathered only "publicly broadcast" information, such as the SSIDs or unique labels of WiFi routers and their MAC addresses."

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