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Google Says It Mistakenly Collected Data on Web Usage

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JESSICA E. VASCELLARO
Wall St Journal
May 15, 2010

Google Inc. said an internal investigation has discovered that the roving vans the company uses to create its online mapping services were mistakenly collecting data about websites people were visiting over wireless networks.

The Internet giant said it would stop collecting Wi-Fi data from its StreetView vans, which workers drive to capture street images and to locate Wi-Fi networks. The company said it would dispose of the data it had accidentally collected.

Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research for Google, wrote in a blog post that the company uncovered the mistake while responding to a German data-protection agency’s request for it to audit the Wi-Fi data, amid mounting concerns that Google’s practices violated users’ privacy.

Google had previously said it was collecting the location of Wi-Fi hot spots from its StreetView vehicles, but not the information being transmitted over those networks by users.

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This article was posted: Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 4:53 am





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