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Google finally admits Street View vehicles collected passwords, promises privacy fixes

Google Street View privacyGoogle has admitted that its Street View cars have collected entire passwords and emails while mapping the world and collecting information about open Wi-Fi hotspots on their way. Google's Senior VP of Engineering and Research, Alan Eustace, mentioned this today in a blog post dedicated to how Google plans to deal with privacy controls inside the company.

Google has been accused by many governments of having collected personal data with their Street View vehicles, but was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing by a UK regulatory body.

At first, Google did not know what types of data it had inadvertently collected, but prompted by the many governments' investigations into this matter, deep analysis of the packets revealed that there were some instances where full emails, URLs and even passwords were captured. Google apologized for this yet again and Alan Eustace said that they would like to delete all the data as soon as possible.

In order for such things never to happen again, Google has a plan to create stronger privacy controls inside the company. To help achieve this, they've hired Alma Whitten as director of privacy across both engineering and product management. Her role will be to ensure that effective privacy controls are built into all Google products and internal practices. Google employees will also undergo privacy training and every lead engineer inside the company will be required to maintain a privacy design document for each project they're working on.

Google certainly hopes that these measures all but guarantee there will be no more privacy debacles involving the company, and for our data's sake, we do too.

Tags: data, google, google maps, google street view, GoogleMaps, GoogleStreetView, maps, privacy, security, street view, street-view, StreetView