Google is becoming ground zero for privacy advocates. The Federal Communications Commission is currently investigating whether or not Google violated consumer privacy laws in the collection of data related to its Google’s Street View product, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday (Nov. 11).
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), a Congressional leader who has concentrated on privacy issues, applauded the FCC.
“The Federal Communications Commission is rightly investigating whether Google’s Street View cars steamrolled privacy laws in pursuit of mapping information. I commend the Commission for taking action—the potential for this technology to be used for drive-by snooping into people’s personal lives is not something to be taken lightly. I raised concerns about Google Street View cars when it was first revealed that the company had collected computer passwords, e-mails and other personal data from Wi-Fi routers; and I will continue to actively monitor developments in this important area,” Markey said in a statement.
Google said the collection of personal information was accidental and that the practice has been stopped.
“As soon as we realized what had happened, we stopped collecting all Wi-Fi data from our Street View cars and immediately informed the authorities,” the company said in a statement.
The Federal Trade Commission also investigated Google Street View, and has since closed its inquiry.