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FTC drops Google Street View look after privacy changes

updated 01:45 pm EDT, Wed October 27, 2010

US says Google Street View in clear after promises

The Federal Trade Commission today dropped its investigation into Google Street View's unintentional Wi-Fi snooping. Officials at the US agency said that Google's tougher internal privacy rules combined with a promise from Google were enough to drop complaints. The search firm had persuaded the FTC that it hadn't and wouldn't use any of the sensitive data it had scraped while driving Street View cars, according to a statement.

The FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau director, David Vladek, stipulated only that Google should be more active in communicating what it does about piracy. Google had said it was requiring privacy plans for all its projects and was appointing an overseer for both of its main groups to guarantee privacy was a common concern.

Google is still under scrutiny from South Korea and other countries. The company has insisted that the Wi-Fi scraping was the result of an experimental project being accidentally included in its Street View code and had only been trying to map Wi-Fi hotspots' locations, but officials critics have asked why it didn't think this would be a concern from the start. Street View mapping was temporarily frozen after Google discovered what it had done, and new mapping runs no longer have Wi-Fi access points.

by MacNN Staff



  1. adavidw

    Joined: Dec 1969




  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The moral is

    don't build your outhouse on the street?

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A promise from Google, huh...

    I guess this is the same group that oversaw the housing industry practices of the last 5 years.


  1. blecch

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shocked, *shocked*!

    Google is shocked, *shocked* that any of their wi-fi monitoring may have recorded sensitive data, mapped it, logged it, and indexed it against search queries for the last 5 years. They have no idea who might have written the code or deployed it. Perhaps hackers from China?

    It was a completely unforeseeable and unavoidable accident; they are very, very sorry, they promise they won't look at any of the data they obtained (honest!), and they promise never ever to do it again until the next time they update Street View.

  1. bogmonster

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too "loo"se with your writing

    Even Urban Dictionary wouldn't know what you were trying to write with that headline.

    Loo is a toilet or a card game.
    Were you looking for a clever way to write sh!tstorm?

    Perhaps the same writer who cranks out " bows "

    Kinda talkes away from the credibility of the whole site. Sigh...

    Kids these days. Where's my metamucil

    As for the Google thing; well, my 13 year old nephew makes the same kinds of promises. Let's hope they have at least his level of integrity

  1. redcapzero

    Joined: Dec 1969



    and when the waves are ripe throughout the Red Triangle, there's NO WAY that 18 footer's going to take a bite (even if they smell a hint of blood), for they promised, damn-it.

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