Google acknowledged yesterday in a blog post that their Street camera cars also collected data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
The data collection was an "accident". According to Google an engineer working on an experimental WiFi project in 2006 wrote a piece of code that sampled all categories of publicly broadcast WiFi data. A year later, when the Google mobile team started a project to collect basic WiFi network data like SSID information and MAC addresses using Google's Street View cars, they included that code in their software.
Google become under pressure in Germany for collecting Wi-Fi data. It is a bit embarrassing for Google to have to admit that they really recorded data. Google did not do anything with the data snippets, but fact is they recorded it.
Last week the German high court confirmed now that owners of Wi-Fi networks need to secure it or get fined.
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