Saturday, May 8, 2021

Google Knew Street View Collected Private Data, FCC Says

PCMag: Over the weekend, Google released an updated version of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) report on the Street View scandal. Unlike the previous, heavily redacted version of the report, the new document reveals that some Googlers were very aware that the Street View cars were collecting data about wireless networks. One programmer, called “Engineer Doe” in the report, designed the software to “collect payload data that Engineer Doe thought might prove useful for other Google services.” The report adds, “As early as 2007 and 2008, Street View team members had wide access to Engineer Doe’s Wi-Fi data collection document and code, which revealed his plan to collect payload data… Engineer Doe specifically told two engineers working on the project, including a senior manager, about collecting payload data. Nevertheless, managers of the Street View project and other Google employees who worked on Street View have uniformly asserted in declarations and interviews that they did not learn the Street View cars were collecting payload data until April or May 2010.”

Google has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine as a penalty for its actions.

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