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Gingersnap
10-25-2010, 11:47 AM
Google finally admits that its Street View cars DID take emails and passwords from computers

By Vanessa Allen
Last updated at 8:33 AM on 25th October 2010


Google was accused of spying on households yesterday after it admitted secretly copying passwords and private emails from home computers. The internet search giant was forced to confess it had downloaded personal data during its controversial Street View project, when it photographed virtually every street in Britain.

In an astonishing invasion of privacy, it admitted entire emails, web pages and even passwords were 'mistakenly collected' by antennae on its high-tech Street View cars. Privacy campaigners accused the company of spying and branded its behaviour 'absolutely scandalous'. The Information Commissioner's Office said it would launch a new investigation. Scotland Yard is already considering whether the company has broken the law.

Google executive Alan Eustace issued a grovelling apology and said the company was 'mortified', adding: 'We're acutely aware that we failed badly.'

Critics seized on the admission as the latest example of technology's ever-expanding ability to harvest information about ordinary households, often without their knowledge or consent.

Google sent a fleet of specially equipped cars around Britain in 2008, armed with 360-degree cameras to gather photographs for its Street View project. There were immediate complaints that the pictures were a security risk, after householders complained that house numbers and car registrations were easily identifiable. Privacy fears followed when it emerged that individuals could be seen, including a man emerging from a sex shop in London's Soho, three police officers arresting a man in Camden, North London, and children throwing stones at a house in Musselburgh, Scotland.

Earlier this year the California-based firm admitted that the cars' antennae had also scanned for wireless networks, including home wi-fi, which connect millions of personal computers to the internet.

Google registered the location, name and identification code of millions of networks and entered them into a database to help it sell adverts.

The firm - which uses the slogan 'Don't be evil' - was able to record the location of every wireless router and network without alerting households because wi-fi signals are 'visible' to other internet devices, including the cars' antennae.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1323310/Google-admits-Street-View-cars-DID-emails-passwords-computers.html#ixzz13NzPy8Tt

marv
10-25-2010, 12:20 PM
And then there's...
http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20101025/schmidt-dont-like-google-street-view-photographing-your-house-then-move/


(snip)

In the past year alone [Google's CEO] has:

* Addressed criticisms of Google’s stance on privacy by saying, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
* Claimed people want Google to “tell them what they should be doing next.”
* Said of Google, “We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”
* Said this: “One day we had a conversation where we figured we could just try to predict the stock market. And then we decided it was illegal. So we stopped doing that.”
* Suggested name changes to protect adults from the Web’s record of their youthful indiscretions.
* Said this: “What we’re really doing is building an augmented version of humanity, building computers to help humans do the things they don’t do well better.”

(snip)

Appearing on CNN’s “Parker Spitzer” program last week, he said that people who don’t like Google’s Street View cars taking pictures of their homes and businesses “can just move” afterward to protect their privacy. Ironically, he said this on the very day that Google admitted those cars captured more than just fragments of personal payload data.

Interestingly, CNN has since edited that quote out of Schmidt’s segment.

(snip)

My use of GOOGLE is VERY limited. I won't use GMAIL or CHROME........whatever is entered is available to the Feds and all the other creeps out there!