Google Settles Multistate Street View Lawsuit for $7 Million

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corbryant

Data harvesting is a completely different monster than say, creating a street view map. I worked for Google at one point, so I can assure you that they did this on purpose - it's true to form. I can't tell you how many times I was told to keep my mouth shut on various things that bothered me.

The bottom line is that it took a great deal of configuration and programming for them to be able to harvest the data of unsecured networks. The explanation that they did this totally by accident is nothing but a lie. They had no need to even connect to these open networks, but they did. They installed and ran harvesting software while on the road, and it was part of the plan. If they had not set out to do this, they would not have had the needed software installed in the first place. "Oops" my ass.

Give us a break, Google. The only thing you didn't mean to do is get caught, and if it weren't for the employees who work for you that have morals - nobody would have known. Granted, I would never leave a WiFi connection unsecured on a network with sensitive data or data that I just didn't want taken -- but not everyone in the world is a tech, and just because they took their router out of the box and plugged it in before configuring it properly does not give Google any right to steal their data.

I'd like to know what Google was planning to do with this data before they got caught. Could not have been good.

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ApathyCurve

"over unencrypted wireless networks"

I would submit that if you're so stupid you can't figure out how to set up your wireless router with encryption (hint: it's really, really, REALLY FUCKING EASY), you should have your computer confiscated on the grounds you're too dumb to be allowed to interact with other people.

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Electrik

Boy, where do you start to dissect this crap?

“we quickly tightened up our systems” …after two years of collecting data.

“Google agreed to launch an employee training program” …it’s the driver’s fault.

“will conduct a national advertising campaign to educate consumers on how to protect their private information” …from Google.

I have a strong inclination to build a Tesla coil in my front yard…just in the off chance that a Google street vehicle drives by. Sorry 'bout your fried phones!

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DeltaFIVEengineer

"We work hard to get privacy right at Google. But in this case we didn't, which is why we quickly tightened up our systems to address the issue," Google said in a statement.

Uhhh yeaaaa....

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BrandonG777

Snitching doesn't pay, even when you're snitching on yourself. LOL

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aarcane

I can't help seeing this as akin to a person putting up a big sign on their yard saying "I'm a democrat!" and then complaining because they show up on a map of democrats... The information is available, open to the public, and no reasonable attempt was mode to secure or protect it. If you leave stuff on your lawn, anyone can photograph it, anyone can look at it. It's not until you put it behind some form of protection, no matter how meager (Such as a closed, but not securely locked door), that you gain any sort of privacy guarantee under the law. The same rules should apply to open wifi connections and unsecured wireless networks as well.

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Peanut Fox

If my front door is closed and not locked and you come in uninvited. Hell. If it's open and you come in uninvited you'd still be trespassing. I don't understand why there is such a disconnect between that and a wifi signal.

Secured or not isn't so much the issue. It's the intent. Where the individuals made aware of their security flaw before the information was gathered (regardless of how important it was)?

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Plowman33

But your front door doesn't extend down the block. If I see a Linksys access point while I'm sitting in a public space, how do I know if it belongs to a person or a business offering free Wi-Fi? Why is it my duty to find that out? A more accurate comparison would be if someone took the contents of their bedroom and threw them out into the street, and got upset if a passerby stopped to look through them.

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Peanut Fox

Using an open wifi access point and collecting data off of it are not one in the same, and isn't the argument I'm making. Also, it's not accurate. Since someone would knowingly throw their contents out of their bedroom, but not knowingly share potential sensitive data.

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Peanut Fox

I bet this will happen again with similar results.

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