Skip to content


Google says StreetView vans accidentally spied on private WiFi data

googleearth Google says StreetView vans accidentally spied on private WiFi data

Google is halting the collection of WiFi network information for its controversial “Street View” mapping service after admitting it mistakenly gathered personal data sent over unsecured systems.

The Internet giant had insisted previously that it was only collecting WiFi network names and addresses with the Street View cars that have been cruising cities around the world taking photographs for the Google Maps service.

“It’s now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (ie non-password-protected) WiFi networks,” Alan Eustace, Google senior vice president for engineering and research, said in a blog post Friday.

Eustace said Google was “profoundly sorry for this error,” which is likely to intensify criticism of Street View by privacy advocates and officials.

The Mountain View, California-based Google said it will end the collection of WiFi network information entirely by the Street View cars which have been used in over 30 nations, and was taking steps to delete the private data.

Street View, which is available for the United States and certain other countries, allows users to view panoramic street scenes on Google Maps and “walk” through cities such as New York, Paris or Hong Kong.

WiFi network information allows Google to build location features into mobile versions of Street View such as directions or nearby restaurants.

Amid concerns that thieves could use pictures of private houses to gain access and that photos of people were being published without their consent, Street View already blurs faces and car registration plates.

The collection of WiFi network information by Street View, which began in 2006, has already come in for criticism, particularly in Germany.

Eustace said a coding error was responsible for the collection of personal data sent by people over unsecured WiFi networks.

Google did not specify what data was gathered but it could potentially include emails or details about which websites a person had visited, for example.

Eustace said Google discovered that personal data had been swept up a week ago following a request to audit WiFi data from the Data Protection Authority in Hamburg, Germany.

“As soon as we became aware of this problem, we grounded our Street View cars and segregated the data on our network, which we then disconnected to make it inaccessible,” he said.

“We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and are currently reaching out to regulators in the relevant countries about how to quickly dispose of it,” Eustace said.

“Given the concerns raised, we have decided that it’s best to stop our Street View cars collecting WiFi network data entirely,” he added.

A Google spokesperson said about 600 gigabytes of personal information had been gathered, roughly the amount as in a standard computer hard drive.

Eustace said the data was just fragments. “Because our cars are on the move, someone would need to be using the network as a car passed by, and our in-car WiFi equipment automatically changes channels roughly five times a second,” he said.

“Maintaining people’s trust is crucial to everything we do, and in this case we fell short,” he said. “We are profoundly sorry for this error and are determined to learn all the lessons we can from our mistake.”

John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group that is a frequent critic of Google, said the company had demonstrated a “lack of concern for privacy.”

“Its computer engineers run amok, push the envelope and gather whatever data they can until their fingers are caught in the cookie jar,” Simpson said.

“The takeaway from this incident is the clear need for government oversight and regulation of the data all online companies gather and store,” he said.

Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, said “Google has placed data collection before user privacy — the DNA of the company is to harvest data for online marketing.

“Top management needs to ensure that privacy — not data collection — come first,” Chester said.

Google said Street View cars have been collecting WiFi data in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United States.

View the original article

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Internet.

Tagged with , , , , , , , .

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's happening big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale".

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally IU know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know people in court at the moment for the content they had on their secret private group. Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. Or if you need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA to hack into if you are that paranoid. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install and other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering bollox) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.

Why?

Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.



css.php