Google admits Street View cars captured sensitive data like e-mails, passwords
Close on the heels of accusations by a Canadian privacy watchdog that Google collected complete e-mails and passwords from wireless networks in Canada while its Street View cars were out capturing the area, Google has, for the first time, admitted that its Street View vehicles did inadvertently capture more sensitive information from wireless networks worldwide than it earlier thought.
Google's recent disclosure, however, did not clarify as to how many users round the world have been affected by the security breach. With different countries having apparently decided to deal with the situation in their own way, Google has already destroyed the data it collected in states that have allowed it to do so.
But, regulators in some countries - like Germany, Spain, and France - are still analyzing the data that Google captured, and conducting investigations into the security breach by the Internet search giant.
Referring to the ongoing investigations into the matter, Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said: "If in fact laws were broken... then there's some serious question of culpability and Google may need to face significant fines."
Meanwhile, in the US, a joint probe into Google's security breach has been initiated by over 30 attorneys general, led by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Talking about the probe, Blumenthal said that Google's disclosure about the data it inadvertently captured "validates and heightens our significant concerns."