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FTC asked to investigate Google WiFi data capture issue

Advocacy group calls for FTC investigation
By: Shane McGlaun | Networking News | Posted: May 18, 2010 3:10 pm

Google recently announced that an unknown component in the software that its Street View vehicles use to capture SSID and MAC address info from secure WiFi networks they encounter was also capturing data from open networks. Google admitted that the "payload" was being captured from the open networks but claims it did not use the data.




Google says that the capturing of data from open and unprotected WiFi networks was discovered after a German regulatory commission asked for information on the practices of capturing information by Street View vehicles. Google says it has grounded the Street View fleet and has initiated a third party investigation.


Consumer Watchdog is still calling on the FTC to investigate Google. The consumer advocacy firm wants the FTC to determine how long Google was capturing information from open WiFi networks, how much data it captured, and what Google did with the data.



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