Advertisement

Google admits vast private data gathering

Google admits vast private data gathering
A closed circuit television surveillance camera stands in front of Google China's headquarters in Beijing on June 30, 2010. China is threatening to revoke Google's China business license over the company's decision to redirect Chinese traffic to computer in Hong Kong that are now governed by the communist government's censorship practices. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

LONDON, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Google admitted Monday its Street View project secretly copied private data from millions of British homes.

It said entire e-mails, Web pages and even passwords were "mistakenly collected" by antennae on its Street View cars as they photographed practically every street in the country, the Daily Mail reported.

Advertisement

The British Information Commissioner's Office said it would investigate and Scotland Yard is considering whether laws were violated.

Senior Vice President Alan Eustace said Google was ''mortified."

"We're acutely aware that we failed badly," he said.

In 2008, Google sent a fleet of cars throughout Britain equipped with 360-degree cameras to gather photographs for its Street View project.

There were immediate fears that the pictures were a security risk, after people complained that house numbers and car registrations were easily identifiable.

Then the company admitted the cars' antennae had also scanned for wireless networks, including home WiFi, which connect personal computers to the Internet.

Google registered the location, name and identification code of networks and entered them into a database to help it sell ads.

"It's absolutely scandalous that this situation has developed and so many people have had their communications intercepted," Simon Davies of Privacy International said.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement