Personal data harvested by Google Street View to be deleted

No, we’re not even talking about the blurring of faces and license plates. Google already does that. There is a bigger issue at hand here for privacy campaigners, because the Google Street View cars were collecting personal data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks as they made their way around the highways and bi-ways.

According to Google, this personal data was “picked up accidentally.” Whether you believe the search giant or not is up to you, but they were harvesting emails, passwords, website addresses, and whatever else they could pick up. Well, the search giant has finally agreed to delete said data.

That’s the good news, atleast for all the people whose passwords were floating about in a Google Street View data bank some place. The bad news is, as far as I can tell, this ruling is only applying to the UK for now. I imagine that the deletion process will extend to other areas afflicted with Street View data harvesting in due time though. Luckily the UK wants the data deleted, some governments just want it.

“We will be keeping a close watch on the progress Google makes and will follow up with an extensive audit,” said Information Commissioner Christopher Graham. “I welcome the fact that the wifi payload data that should never have been collected in the first place can, at last, be deleted.”

And here I am, using Google as my primary search engine, while reading through Google Reader and checking my Gmail in my Chrome web browser…

SOURCE: Daily Mail


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