Published On: Mon, Apr 30th, 2012

Google releases full FCC report into Street View data collection

Online search giant Google has released a full 25 page report which details an FCC investigation into the company’s collection of sensitive data from open Wi-Fi networks between 2008 and 2010.

The information, which is defined as ‘Payload data‘, includes Email caches, browser histories and online passwords. Google’s Street View cars captured the information whilst driving through towns and cities taking photographs for the company’s ground breaking Maps project.

In the report, which redacts only the names of implicated individuals, the FCC state that as there is no legal precedent on the matter, Google did not formally contravene any privacy laws. However, the company was ordered to pay $25,000 as it “deliberately impeded and delayed the investigation”. Specifically, the fine was enforced as Google ignored requests from the FCC to identify engineers and submit certain emails relating to the data scoops, in the early stages of the inquiry.

Google neither accessed nor used the information it collected. However, according to the FCC’s report, some senior project managers knew about the plan to conduct data grabs in 2006, before the project entered the production stage.

Google are allowed to appeal against the fine though it is unlikely that the company would want to prolong the process given the recent criticism of its privacy policy amendments.

About the Author

- Alexander is Technology Editor for LSMedia. He is studying Art History at the Open University and lives in the grand old city of Liverpool. He enjoys Art, Cinema and Music along with other generic general interests. He takes great pleasure from referring to himself in the third person. Contact: Tech@LiverpoolStudentMedia.com