Google’s collection of sensitive data from millions of unknowing households while operating specially equipped cars for its Street View service was a deliberate and repeated choice, according to a new report.
The US Federal Communications Commission has found that Google knew that the camera-clad cars of their Street View project were retrieving and storing ‘payload data’ from unsuspecting households for years.
The search giant had earlier said that the data harvesting was a ‘mistake’ and vowed that the data would never be used.
The Los Angeles Times recently published a full report released by Google that highlighted FCC’s inquiry into the sensitive data collected by the firm for its mapping service.
The report showed how between 2007 and 2010, Google Street View cars, which were tasked with photographing streetscapes, also tapped into the browsing histories, text messages and personal emails of people on unsecured WiFi networks, The Daily Mail reports.
According to the report, the engineer that designed the project said this information would ''be analyzed offline for use in other initiatives'' in the original proposal, and told several other Google employees of the data collection capabilities of the program.
The FCC concluded in its report that collecting the data was not illegal, but it slapped Google with a fine of 25,000 dollars this month for obstructing its investigation