back to article US comms watchdog probes Google Street View Wi-Fi slurp

Google’s Street View service is being probed by the US Federal Communication Commission to determine whether the company’s “worrisome” Wi-Fi data slurp broke any laws. The ad broker said in October that it was “mortified” that Google’s Street View cars had inadvertently collected payload data including emails and passwords …


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  1. Lionel Baden


    Well not to be selfish I really couldnt care anymore being 2 routers further down the road now :/ let them have an old MAC address

  2. GeorgeTuk

    It was sensationalised in reporting in UK

    Radio 1 was terrible lots of talking heads on the street saying "Its disgusting" and "terrible big companies keep this data".

    It was only mentioned offhand twice in a five minute report about the connections being unsecured.

  3. FoolD

    Pass the indigestion tablets pls...

    >> We want to delete the data as soon as possible and will continue to work with the authorities to determine the best way forward

    Erm, how about select file(s) -> delete. There - not too hard was it. If google really meant the "sorry" then they shouldn't be messing around like this.

    Stalling tactics will only make google look more guilty...

    1. PC Paul

      Try and keep up...

      As has been mentioned every single time this pops up again, Google wanted to delete the data immediately but had court injunctions slapped on them from many countries (including the UK) telling them they had to keep it, pending investigation.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        No harm no foul?

        Lets be clear. Google wants to delete the data right away so that there is no evidence of their crime. They are being told not to delete the evidence because of the allegations of a crime. (How serious we don't know until the investigation is completed.)

        In the US, if a class action lawsuit occurs before Google can delete the data, then those impacted by the 'slurp' will be able to sue Google in civil court. If Google can delete the evidence, Google walks away clean.

        So please try and keep up with the fact that Google wants to bury this ASAP and avoid millions in legal fees, fines and payouts. Were the rest of the world up to speed those millions could be billions since the breach happened on a global scale.

        Due to US whistle blower laws, the person who tipped off the US Government could stand to collect a pretty penny and couldn't be fired from Google for blowing the whistle.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google are being very manly about this...

      Many men avoid throwing things away, on the basis that 'they may be useful one day...'

      The more their partner tells them to the more likely they are to try as hard as hell to keep it - there must be something valuable...

      Try the reverse Psychology... Tell them to keep it but they mustn't do it again...

      No, Maybe not....

  4. Dave Rickmers

    Google Lies

    Your router's MAC address is personal information. In the USA it is against the law to intercept a communication not intended for you. Doing it for money can make the crime a felony. It doesn't matter if your encryption is on or not.

  5. Ian Michael Gumby
    Jobs Horns

    Google is guilty.

    In the US, people have been arrested for using their cell phones to record a traffic stop. Depending on the wire tapping laws, even in a public place, they can be arrested. You want a good example, just ask Linda Tripp. ;-) (And yes, I love SNL's John Goodman skits ) :-)

    So what Google did was illegal.

    They copped to it once it because apparent that there was someone who was going to blow the whistle on them.

    Google attempted to get out in front of this by trying to say that they lacked mens rea ?sp? which means they lacked a 'guilty mind'. This is legalese used to set up an affirmative defense that even if they committed the act, no crime was committed because they lacked the 'guilty mind' that it was an unintentional action.

    This is pure bunk because Google also filed a patent on the technology to do exactly what they did. Not to mention that using 'open wi-fi' connection points is also illegal. If they are merely measuring the strength of a wi-fi broadcast of their SSID along with a captured geo spatial location, it becomes a 'gray area'.

    So for all of the Google Fanbois... Google is definitely on thin ice and also this goes to say that they are truly evil.

    Evil Ballmer because he looks more sinister than evil gates.

  6. BillG

    It's too late

    Google has the data and they plan to keep it. Does anyone really believe that they are going to delete every single instance of the data? No. Google has the data, and they are going to keep it. That's why they collecte3ed it in the first place.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Yeah.. he he...

    “Whether intentional or not, collecting information sent over Wi-Fi networks clearly infringes on consumer privacy,” said FCC official Joe Gurin earlier this year.

    And only the state can do that without restraints. Otherwise, where would we be?

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Interesting patterns of vote downs

    Just saying.

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