Google Is Inching Closer To Being “Evil”

I’m really starting to dislike Google. Why? I was checking out their official blog and found this entry. Almost a month ago, Google in a separate blog post said that they collected a ton of information including photos, WiFi network info, and 3D building images. Apparently Google is now admitting to “accidentally” collecting personal data while looking for positioning data during Google’s Street View excursions. What would that data be? Here’s what Google said:

But it’s now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks, even though we never used that data in any Google products.

Charming. But according to Google, you don’t have to worry about that:

As soon as we became aware of this problem, we grounded our Street View cars and segregated the data on our network, which we then disconnected to make it inaccessible. We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and are currently reaching out to regulators in the relevant countries about how to quickly dispose of it.

You’ll excuse me if I don’t exactly trust them on that given their problems with Buzz.

Now to be fair, they’re not the only people who have been caught collecting this sort of data. Just take a look Skyhook for example and the circus that their privacy issues have created. But this is likely something that Google didn’t need. How they handle this latest privacy issue with their services will determine if they ever be can be trusted again.

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