Google Stops Collecting Data from Street View Cars

Lora Bentley
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Six Privacy Principles Google Forgot


On Tuesday, Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart announced that the inadvertent Wi-Fi data collection associated with Google's Street View violated the country's privacy laws. A day earlier, Spain's Data Protection Authority announced it is beginning disciplinary proceedings against the search giant for violating Spanish laws with Street View data collection in that country.


InformationWeek reports Google could face fines ranging from $84,000 to $840,000 per specific offense. The authority's report indicated that the information Google collected included "e-mail names, addresses, and account information, along with some IM and social networking account information and passwords."


According to Tom's Guide, Google has stopped Wi-Fi data collection from its cars, in large part due to the international fallout from the Street View privacy debacle. Instead of collecting data directly from the street, Google will rely on location data provided by Android smartphone users who have opted to use location-based services and allow that data to be collected.


Writer Marcus Yam explains:

The Google Maps Navigation application will work with both the GPS and the wireless network chip to help Google build and update its database of addresses.

In Germany, where Street View is about to launch, residents were given the opportunity to opt out of having images of their homes appear on the maps. The New York Times reports Google has received notice that 244,000 residents want their homes obscured from Street View maps. From Google's perspective, that means 97 percent of the people in Germany's 20 largest cities "have no problem with Street View." Nonetheless, the company is working to see that those who have chosen to opt out are satisfied before Street View goes live.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Dec 22, 2011 7:57 AM Allie Valenza Allie Valenza  says:

You're kidding me! These people are paranoid or what? Well, if you want privacy here's a good solution: don't drive cars because people can collect data from them; if you love cars read about them on partsgeek, it's safer. Lock yourself in your own house! Don't answer the phone! Don't use the internet because THEY will find you. Come on! Why some people are being so childish?


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