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Monday, October 25, 2010

Law - "Google 'mortified' that Street View cars scarfed up e-mail, passwords; privacy criticism intensifies"

A recent entry from Cecilia Kang's Washington Post Tech blog begins:

It turns out Google’s Street View cars found out more about Internet users than previously acknowledged. Last Friday, the company said the cars, which roam the world taking pictures for its location-based applications, scarfed up e-mail addresses, URLs and passwords from residential Wi-Fi networks they passed by in dozens of countries.

And while Google said it was "mortified" by its discovery, apologized again, and announced some measures to beef up privacy awareness within its ranks, the admission could expose the company to greater global scrutiny, fines and potential lawsuits, experts said.

On a personal note, my house is difficult to see from the street when the trees are fully leafed, so the Google Street View is obscured. I've always thought that was just fine. Apparently Google didn't, because recently when I checked my street address on Google, instead of a "street" view, I saw of photo of my entire backyard, taken by the Google Street Car from the alley, and over an 8-foot privacy fence! Talk about intrusive!

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 25, 2010 09:39 AM
Posted to General Law Related