Action 'spies' Google sparked strong protests

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

VIVAnews - Action Google's 'spying' Internet users through a vehicle whose task was to retrieve the data for Google Street View, invited strong protests from various parties.

German consumer protection minister, Ilse Aigner, protested strongly to the Google over privacy violations and urged the company to be more willing to work with the relevant authorities for the protection of consumer data.

"Based on the information we collect, Google has to penetrate into the private network, which is done by illegal ways," Aigner said, quoted from the AP. He also accused Google to withhold information requested by regulators in Germany.

About two weeks ago, Google said the German consumer protection authorities, through Google Street View vehicle, they just collect the data, a WiFi network name (SSID) and a WiFi router data unique address (MAC number).

At that time, Google said that Google's mobile Street View it does not collect information that is sent through the WiFi network (data payload).

However, through the company's newest blogs, Google claimed that by mistake, Google is also collecting data that milling on the WiFi network was not encrypted, which they watched.

"We are one of the samples had been collected the data payload from the open WiFi network (which is not protected by a password), although we also never use the data to Google's products," wrote Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President, Engineering Research Google .

Thus, the information in the form of pieces of mail or the internet pages of information that is accessed by people who use open WiFi networks through which the cars Google Street View, can be read by Google.


Google Street View is a Google service that provides photographs in various places taken by the Google camera car. This service has provoked controversy in Germany and in several countries, disputed by the defenders of privacy rights, because of fears they will be caught Google's cameras.

According to Eustace, this error occurs inadvertently. In the year 2006 a Google staff working on an experimental project to create a program that is able to take samples of all categories of data that is accessed via WiFi.

A year later, when Google started the project of data collection WiFi network SSID information and MAC address for Google Street View, it turns out that the program code is included into the new software project, so that the payload data that is accessed via an open WiFi, also collected by Google.

Aigner Minister requested that Google followed the rules to declare their activities to all consumer protection authorities around the world.

Until now, Google has collected about 600 GB for a single data from WiFi network in over 30 countries, including the US. Google's own team admitted to delete all the data.

"Google's technical team really worked hard to earn your trust, and we are very aware we are failing in this regard. We are very, very sorry for this error and decided to learn from mistakes that we do." In addition Google has also decided to stop the activities of its Street View vehicle. (Hs)

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