Canada's privacy czar launches Google investigation

Jun 01, 2010
Canada's privacy commissioner said Tuesday she was probing Google's inadvertent collection of data from unsecured wireless networks as its cars photographed streetscapes for its mapping service.

Canada's privacy commissioner said Tuesday she was probing Google's inadvertent collection of data from unsecured wireless networks as its cars photographed streetscapes for its mapping service.

"We have a number of questions about how this collection could have happened and about the impact on people’s privacy," said Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, adding: "An investigation is the best way to find the answers."

Google, which notified the commissioner it had been collecting and storing information broadcast via wireless networks that were not password protected, may have contravened Canada's privacy laws, she said.

Google was asked to hand over any information collected for the investigation.

The move follows similar probes in Austria, Germany, Italy and the after Google admitted its Street View cars, which have been cruising and taking photographs of cities in over 30 countries, had inadvertently gathered fragments of personal data sent over unsecured Wi-Fi systems.

The company said it had planned to use the Wi-Fi network data to add features to its mapping services. It has since stopped collecting any more Wi-Fi network data.

allows users to view panoramic street scenes on Maps.

Explore further: Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Germany to Google: Respect data privacy

May 20, 2010

(AP) -- Germany's Foreign Minister has warned Google co-founder Larry Page to respect the nation's data protection laws in an escalating dispute over the U.S. Internet giant's "Street View" mapping program.

Germany lashes out at Google for privacy breach

May 15, 2010

(AP) -- Germany's consumer protection minister strongly criticized Google for a widespread privacy breach and insisted Saturday the U.S. Internet giant must cooperate better with data protection authorities.

German prosecutors probing Google's mapping breach

May 19, 2010

(AP) -- German prosecutors are investigating Google Inc. on suspicion it violated privacy laws when it recorded fragments of people's online activities through unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Recommended for you

Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

4 hours ago

Twitter and some other social media outlets are trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers publicity ...

New generation is happy for employers to monitor them on social media

4 hours ago

Will employers in the future watch what their staff get up to on social media? Allowing bosses or would-be employers a snoop around social media pages is a growing trend in the US, and now a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Said Business School suggest ...

User comments : 0