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Google's Street View trucks reportedly snooped passwords, email addresses

Google's Street View vehicles drive around collecting the images that power the very useful map service, but it turns out they've been collecting a bit more than that. The trucks grab location data from open Wi-Fi networks as they travel, automatically jumping networks five times a second. It turns out that in that 1/5th of a second they spent on each network, Street View vehicles may have gathered a significant quantity of data packets, including some passwords and email addresses.

InfoWorld says Google just turned its collected data over to authorities at the French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL), who discovered the sensitive data amongst all the random packets. France is just the first country to request the data from Google: Spain, Germany, Australia and others have also started investigations. In the U.S., several State Attorney General's offices have begun looking into Google's wifi data collection practices. In response, Google has stopped running its controversial data collection code for the time being, although the company asserts it did nothing illegal.

Tags: data, google, google maps, GoogleMaps, privacy, street view, StreetView, wifi