Friday, May 14, 2010

Is Google snooping on your WiFi?

Google, the internet search and cloud computing company, has today announced that it will no longer collect information on personal and commercial wireless internet networks after it 'mistakenly' gathered such information as part of its StreetView service.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
"Maintaining people's trust is crucial to everything we do, and in this case we fell short," Alan Eustace, a Google senior vice president for engineering and research, said in a blog post.
Concerns over the data collection were highlighted in the media last week, with reporting over the growing concerns expressed by two Australian privacy groups, the Electronic Frontiers Australia and the Australian Privacy Foundation.
Google has stated numerous times that it holds the privacy of its users as a concern of paramount importance, and that it takes all measures to ensure that people's private information is kept from prying or unwanted eyes.

"We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and are currently reaching out to regulators in the relevant countries about how to quickly dispose of it," he said.
"Given the concerns raised, we have decided that it's best to stop our Street View cars collecting WiFi network data entirely," he added. Eustace said personal wireless data was mistakenly collected only from unsecured, or non-password-protected WiFi networks, and "we never used that data in any Google products."  
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