FCC probing Google over Street View privacy breach

first_imgEven though it seems like it was an accident, and even though the data was slurped up on unprotected home networks, Google continues to deal with the aftermath of the Google Street View privacy controversy from earlier this year: the Federal Communications Commission has now initiated a probing of the matter.As you might recall, Google Street View cars made a splash a few months ago when Google came clean that they had “accidentally” collected far too much data from open WiFi networks as its fleet of Street View vehicles prowled the city streets of America and Europe. n Google’s defense, they started the story by copping to the matter before any accusations were raised, but that hasn’t been enough for a lot of European governments… and it looks like it might not fly with the FCC either.“Last month, Google disclosed that its Street View cars collected passwords, e-mails and other personal information wirelessly from unsuspecting people across the country,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Michele Ellison, in a statement sent to Ars Technica. “In light of their public disclosure, we can now confirm that the Enforcement Bureau is looking into whether these actions violate the Communications Act.”Of course, it’s only fair that the FCC probes the matter and makes sure that Google’s been honest about both the cause of the privacy breach and the steps they’ve taken to ensure it never happens again… but let’s hope this isn’t merely an opportunity for political grandstanding on privacy. Google messed up, but they never had to admit that screw up to begin with: being so forthcoming about having made a mistake is a good indication to me that they’re being on the up-and-up here, and are just as horrified by the error as their opponents.Read more at Ars Technicalast_img read more