Google Updates Policy After Camera-Equipped Car Gaff

The search giant freely admits that it failed in protecting users' privacy, conceding that it intercepted emails and passwords over unencrypted wi-fi networks.

A Google exec concedes: "We work hard at Google to earn your trust, and we're acutely aware that we failed badly here." Kenneth Corbin reports.

Google has announced a set of changes to its internal privacy controls in response to the revelations earlier this year that the search giant had inadvertently collected users' Internet transmissions over unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

That high-profile gaff, which resulted from a piece of experimental software that was included in the camera-equipped cars Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) dispatched to collect images for its Street View project, provoked a torrent of scrutiny and criticism, with regulators and privacy officials in nations around the world launching investigations.

The search giant also offered new revelations about the extent of the data its Street View vehicles collected, information that came out in the course of the international probes, seven of which Google said have been concluded.

Alan Eustace, Google's senior vice president of product and engineering, said that most of the information that was collected was "fragmentary," but that in some cases the Street View cars intercepted entire emails, passwords and URLs from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, the investigations revealed.

Read the rest at eSecurity Planet.

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