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Google 'Mortified' that Street View Cars Gathered Personal Data

Google Mobile Street ViewGoogle knows that it messed up. In May, the company admitted to inadvertently collecting unencrypted Wi-Fi data with its fleet of Street View cars. Now, Google's offering a little more insight into what kind of information those cars actually gathered.

When the scandal first broke last spring, Google wasn't entirely certain about what data it collected from unsuspecting Wi-Fi users -- it just knew it was collected. It wasn't until authorities stepped in that the details of Google's unintentional surveillance came to light. In a recent post on Google's blog,
Alma Whitten to serve as "director of privacy across both engineering and product management." Google also says that it will now require employees to participate in privacy training sessions, as well as a new information security awareness program. Engineering project leaders, moreover, will now have to maintain special "privacy design" documents. These documents will clearly explain how user data is to be handled on future projects, and will be subject to regular reviews from project managers and from an independent audit agency.

Eustace argues that these changes will "significantly improve our internal practices," but realizes that "no system can of course entirely eliminate human error." In other words, Google may never be able to guarantee user privacy with 100-percent certainty, but at least it's doing its best to patch up one major hole.

Tags: car, data, email, google, google street view, GoogleStreetView, password, privacy, street view, StreetView, top, wifi