UK Gov't Review Says Google WiFi Sniffing Didn't Sniff Anything Significant

from the moving-on... dept

It's been funny watching the usual anti-Google forces try to make something bigger out of Google's accidental WiFi sniffing via its Street View vehicles. As has been explained in detail, it's not hard to understand how the data was collected accidentally. Even though it is bad that Google didn't realize this, there is no indication that Google ever did anything with the data, or that any sensitive data was collected. After all, if you're doing something sensitive online, it's hopefully via an encrypted channel -- and most email and all banking sites would be.

But, of course, lots of governments are "investigating." I fully expect some less-technically savvy government groups to get confused about this and still condemn Google, but the UK's investigation has found that Google did not collect sensitive data:
The ICO said in a statement: "On the basis of the samples we saw, we are satisfied so far that it is unlikely that Google will have captured significant amounts of personal data."

It added: "There is also no evidence - as yet - that the data captured by Google has caused or could cause any individual detriment."
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Filed Under: data collection, sniffing, street view, uk, wifi
Companies: google


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Jul 2010 @ 1:53pm

    Re: WiFi Trolls

    Cordless and wireless phones used to be the same. In fact some people probably still have old cordless phones that don't encrypt the signal at all. It's still illegal to eavesdrop on those transmissions. And it should be illegal to eavesdrop on wifi transmissions that aren't under the eavesdropper's control as well. I don't think they should make wifi sniffers illegal, which is pretty much what they did with the phones, as they do have a practical use for troubleshooting.

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