About 2 months ago, Google had admitted that their Street View cars had “mistakenly” collected information transmitted over unencrypted wi-fi networks.
It now comes to light, that the problem still continues to exist. This was revealed by the advocacy group, Consumer Watchdog. John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog told the BBC that “We think the Google Wi-Spy effort is one of the biggest wire tapping scandals in US history.”
Consumer Watchdog retraced the same route as Street View cars and found that the homes of several people including some high profile politicians were having open home networks, through which a lot of important and private information could leak out.
The Consumer Watchdog, in turn has come under fire from the Computer and Communication Industry Association (CCIA) for conducting an experiment which itself could be dangerous.
However the Consumer Watchdog wants Mr. Eric Schmidt the CEO of Google to be made to testify under oath about this issue.
Google has issued a statement saying, “as we’ve said before, it was a mistake for us to include code in our software that collected payload data, but we believe we did nothing illegal. We’re continuing to work with the relevant authorities to answer their questions and concerns”.
While such statements sound good and may help Google to buy some time, they certainly need to act fast to rectify this problem even if it eventually means discontinuing the feature entirely, before the data ‘unwittingly’ collected lands into the wrong hands and creates major problems.
After all, mapping areas and roads is okay, but “tapping” into what people are doing is not, and we all expect Google to behave responsibly.