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Google knew Street View collected emails, passwords, personal information from millions worldwide

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Google street viewGoogle Street View had an eye on more than just city streets — it also once collected emails, passwords, Internet search histories, medical records and more from millions of people around the world, new documents show.

An FCC report released Friday reveals Google spent over two years between 2008 and 2010 quietly capturing a mountain of personal information by tapping into unsecured wireless networks through its Street View cars, which drive around capturing snapshots to populate the search giant's massive map database.

The FCC file, previously only released in heavily redacted form, also shows what Google had previously denied — that the data gathering was intentional, and that several employees within the company knew about it for years.

When first questioned about its collection of personal data by European authorities in 2010, Google originally denied the practice, but later claimed it accidentally recorded what was likely just “fragmented” data from users on unprotected WiFi networks.


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