Google: We Accidentally Grabbed Emails, Passwords

Street View privacy flap worse than reported
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2010 1:01 PM CDT

(Newser) First MySpace, now Google: Apparently today is the day for Internet privacy flaps. Google, which admitted in May its roving Street View cars collected data about websites people visited on unprotected WiFi networks, admits now that the cars actually collected even more personal data—including complete emails and passwords, Reuters reports. More than 30 state attorneys general have launched a probe into the matter, and regulators overseas have also opened investigations.

While taking panoramic pictures across the globe, the Street View cars were also collecting WiFi data for a location-based services project unrelated to Google Street View. A mistake in the computer code resulted in Google collecting more data than it intended to in more than 30 countries. “Most of the data is fragmentary,” says a VP. Google says it has not examined the data and will delete it, and adds that Street View cars are no longer collecting wireless information. (Click here to read about today’s MySpace privacy uproar.)

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