You know Google Maps? Well, most are aware that to capture the street views and other map-related data, Google sent a fleet of cars around the world globe to record the visuals and collect the necessary information. But apparently, Google did more than that. They inadvertently collected Canadian's private information in the process.
On Friday, Google said that for several years, there cars have been accidentally collecting personal information - which, according to a security expert, could very well include email addresses and passwords sent by consumers over wireless networks. Other countries under affect from this include the United States, Brazil, Hong Kong, Germany, and France. Google has claimed to never have used any of the data.
“It’s now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) Wi-Fi networks,” Alan Eustace, Google Senior VP of Engineering and Research, said in a post on Google’s official blog.
This could be a humiliating hit on the search engine goliath's reputation. Because Google handles roughly 70% of all web searches in America, it is essential that it maintains its reputation as a trustworthy and secure custodian of information, particularly consumer's private data. Google will now ride abreast Facebook, an internet giant who has also given rise to recent concerns over web privacy and safety.
There is no word of legal action against Google; to violate the law requires that the interception was intentional.