FCC: Google Staff Knew Street View Cars Stole Private Information
The Google engineer behind the collection of wireless data by Street View cars told at least two colleagues – including a senior manager – about the controversial plans before it was released, a US regulator has found.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said in a report that the Google engineer told colleagues in 2007 that his Street View programme could collect private information including emails and text messages.
“For more than two years, Google’s Street View cars collected names, addresses, telephone numbers, URLs, passwords, email, text messages, medical records, video and audio files, and other information from internet users in the United States,” the report said.
Google was found to have collected similar data from users in the UK, Netherlands, France and other countries where its Street View cars operated.
The FCC said that the engineer intended to collect and store the data for possible use in other Google projects. On at least one occasion, the engineer reviewed payload data to identify frequently visited websites, according to the report.