Privacy tsar drops 2nd Google investigation

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The Australian Privacy Commissioner has said that he will not launch a second investigation into Google’s Wi-Fi snooping using Street View cars, despite a damning report from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released several weeks ago.

In 2010, Google admitted that its Street View cars collected the personal and private data of individuals via wireless networks, while mapping cities in more than 30 countries. Google said that the cars were supposed to collect just the locations of Wi-Fi access points, but that they also, inadvertently, collected email and text messages, passwords, internet-usage histories and other data from unsecured wireless networks spanning two years, beginning in 2007.

A FCC report, released last month, blamed a “rogue” engineer working on the Street View project for inserting the Wi-Fi snooping code into the cars, but accused senior managers within Google of being aware and signing off on the Wi-Fi snooping project. The FCC also fined Google $25,000 for deliberately impeding and delaying its investigation. Here to read more.

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