Alexander’s Blog

June 20, 2010

Google in Trouble Over Privacy Issues (Again)

by @ 3:07 pm. Filed under News, Security/Firewalls, Wireless/Mobile

The latest news on Google and privacy issues has to do with Google collecting unencrypted personal WiFi data. According to some reports, so many lawsuits are piling up that Google is saying guys can we just combine them all in one large chunk of lawsuit.

The problem is that Google seem to be collecting too much data in their StreetView cars. According to Ars Technica:

Put simply, a program called “gslite” sniffed packets from unprotected WiFi networks as Google’s Street View cars rolled down the street, separating out encrypted and unencrypted content. The encrypted data was dumped while the unencrypted data was then written to the car’s hard drive.

Well, it’s bad enough that Privacy International is accusing Google of “criminal intent” based on this report. Google says they made a mistake (wink, wink). Privacy International is not buying and says “It is a criminal act commissioned with intent to breach the privacy of communications.” It is not a matter of Google making a mistake, Privacy International claims, they knew what they were doing and had “intent to intercept”, which is a violation of criminal law. What Google did is “equivalent to placing a hard tap and a digital recorder onto a phone wire without consent or authorisation.”

Stay tuned. I am sure this story is not over.

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