CNIL: Google Street View Cars Have Recorded Passwords And Email Contents - gHacks Tech News

CNIL: Google Street View Cars Have Recorded Passwords And Email Contents

Google's Street View Cars came under immense international pressure earlier this year after it became known that the cars did not only take pictures of streets in countries they were operating in but also recorded Wi-FI information.

Google's initial response to the allegations was that the recorded data was used to power and improve location based services it operates and that nothing more but data fragments were recorded during the time of operation.

Experts in some countries were suspicious as it was very likely that the one-fifths of a second recordings of public Wi-FI data would contain more than just fragments of personal data. Google's Street View cars were configured to switch channels five times a second.

The French data protection authority CNIL, the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés, was the first to receive the recorded data.

Experts began to analyze the data on June 4th, the day the data was received and preliminary results were posted on the official website two days ago.

According to CNIL, the data that Google collected with their Street View Cars contained passwords for mailboxes and excerpts of electronic messages.

CNIL said on Thursday that it would take further analysis of the data before it could be decided what would happen as a result of the investigation.

German and Spanish data protection authorities have also requested access to the data that was collected by Google's Street View cars in their countries.

CNIL did confirm that the Street View service did provide information to other Google Services including Google Maps and Google Latitude.

This all would not have been possible if people would properly secure their wireless networks and apologists have used this excuse to defend Google. This however does not change the fact that it is a crime in some countries to collect that data. What's your opinion on the new discovery?

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    1. DanTe said on June 19, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      While I have been highly critical of Google’s electronic gathering of people’s traffic data in the past, I have to side with Google on this one.

      Stupid idiots insists on shouting out their private info in the clear into the open air. And now these retards are incense that people walking by hears them. And if the people walking by had their video recorders running, would have accidentally recorded every word the imbeciles had shouted out.

      I too would like a list of these locations that Google had recorded. So that I may offer them free sterilization. Preferably before they had spawned and further contaminated the gene pool.

    2. Dave said on June 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm

      Have to say, I would swing towards Google on this, as folk should have secured networks. Seems to me no worse than catching someone in a photograph or overhearing a conversation but I’m still a little hazy on EXACTLY what data Google was hoping to get and what it was going to use it for. Have to admit, the explanation does sound a little vague. Think they should be considerably more precise in how or why they went about this data collection business to allay any suspicions of wrong-doing.

    3. Dalila said on June 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm

      The law in USA, Spain, France, Germany etc…says that if you take something
      without permission from a house that is not yours, this is a crime, even if
      the door of the house was open. In this case we speak of data, but the fact
      remains that Google has collected private data without consent. If Google
      were a person, had already been arrested. It is not acceptable and is not
      credible: Google – “Ohhh, sorry I accidentally got (all around the world)
      thousands and thousands and thousands of private data, related geographical references and…etc..etc…” unless you think Google is a kleptomaniac.

    4. DanTe said on June 19, 2010 at 9:22 pm

      I’m not sure about the laws in Spain, France, Germany ETC. But in the U.S., if you toss something out of the house into public domain, it’s fair game.

      Someone walking by your house video taping the street as a tourist or whatever and you shout out your credit card number, it is not illegal for him to have recorded your credit card number on the camcorder. It is illegal for him to use it, but than neither did Google use it.

    5. Dalila said on June 19, 2010 at 10:35 pm

      Ciao DanTe. The unencrypted data over a private net connection, are to be considered as private telephone calls (a phone call consists of voice data). As you know better than me, in the U.S. intercept a phone call without permission is a crime. In Spain, France, Germany (all over Europe) … etc. Google has committed a crime, “illegal interception of communications and private information” and I think this is also considered a crime in your beautiful Nation.
      I would not be misunderstood. I use Google and I really like some of the services it offers … but when a friend is wrong … need to tell him that he was wrong …
      Good weekend all ;)

      (sorry for my English)

    6. CrunchBang said on June 20, 2010 at 4:16 am

      Google had crossed the fine line long time ago. It became to powerful to control itself, now you are dealing with few executive geeks tripping of being gods of the net. What’s worse is how many people fell for Google Chrome browser and allowed those jerks to get info on any move you make. I hope “Ghacks” will stick with the policy that very name of this site has, instead of promoting big brother.

    7. Bruno ReX said on June 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      Get your tin foil hats ready, guys!

    8. DanTe said on June 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      Hello Dalila, never apologize for your “english”. Only retarded twits ever brings up someone else grammar and spelling in a debate – usually when the retard has no truths backing up his side.

      It is true that when one transmits in ones own private network it is illegal to intercept. But these people were transmitting in the open airwave that propagates outside of their home networks. I am not sure of the legality, but I am pretty certain that the old ham radio laws are in operation on this. This one would be up to the legal departments.

      But my point is: imbeciles who insists on shouting out their private info in the clear into the open air should have no expectation of privacy. Based on their actions, they obviously didn’t want any privacy. And it’s not Google’s fault that they accidentally intercepted these shout outs.

      Please note, that I have usually bashed Google on their privacy stances. It’s just that this one time, I believe Google is in the right. And no, I still don’t use Google search or Chrome because of their privacy policies.

    9. Rush said on June 21, 2010 at 7:14 am

      I agree that awareness of data security measures needs to improve but to say that because a persons wireless is unsecured is to say that they do not WANT privacy is utterly ridiculous. If what you are saying is that those that this would upset wouldn’t have been effected by this because they would have had some type of security in place, and those that were effected probably don’t care enough to complain on their own… I would have to agree with that, but to say or even imply that they consented by inaction is dangerous ground to tread. True, if they has been secured in any way this would have been prevented. However, do we really want Google teaching us lessons in privacy, using our data to do it? I mean, those dudes have a LOT of data from a LOT of sources. I’m sure with enough tech, cash and willpower, Google (or anyone else for that matter) could teach just about anyone a lesson in information security. They have the money and the technology, without a doubt. The only question is the willpower. That’s where people usually start breaking out the tin foil.
      I think its probably a matter of the “who” and not the “what” that has people so irritated. It also shouldn’t be a matter of opinion. If they broke a law inside a country they were operating inside, then it is what it is. They should be treated as any other company or citizen would be.

    10. Riddick said on June 21, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      Interesting debate. Here is my two cents. We had some privacy training at work some time back. Essentially if you dont give someone permission to look, read, use information etc its illegal. Here is an example. If you print a document and leave it on the printer in an open work environment, it is still wrong for someone else to read/ collect that document if it is not theirs. In otherwords, if its not “yours” you dont have any rights to it. This goes for Canada anyway.

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