Google has pronounced itself "profoundly sorry" for the revelation that its roving street-map vehicles have been inadvertently collecting data about websites people visit over unprotected WiFi networks. The company says it's ditching the data and fixing the problem. (See its explanation and apology here.) Some early reaction:
- "It’s not likely that Google grabbed enough data about many individuals for this to be a major privacy concern," writes Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch. But as it faces increased scrutiny from privacy advocates and governments, "this is certain to haunt Google nonetheless."
- At Wired, Kim Zetter says it could go beyond bad PR: "The revelation raises questions about whether the company violated federal wiretapping laws in collecting the information and could draw scrutiny from US regulators."
- Harry McCracken, PC World: "None of this is cause for panic—if anything, Google is guilty of sustained incompetence, not malevolence."