Google Gets Slapped By Canadian Privacy Regulators

Google has caught the attention of the Privacy Commissioner Of Canada in a negative way. It seems that those “Street View” cars that were driving around collecting more than 360 degree views of your street:

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada found that Google Inc. violated privacy laws when it collected personal wireless data in 2008 by dispatching cars across the country to photograph and map street views.

The wireless data in question were WiFi access points and the data they contained:

The Commission said in a statement that personal information was collected by Google’s Street View cars because equipment software designed to locate and map WiFi networks also collected so-called “payload data” from nearby homes and businesses. This data would include all wireless communications and transmissions that are not protected by password protections.

See kids. This is why you password protect your WiFi access point. Now it is noted that Google didn’t intend to do this, but it is chilling. Hopefully, Google makes changes and this never needs to be spoken of again. I think they know that they’re being watched on this front.

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