Google Street View accused of Congress 'snooping'

By Maggie Shiels, BBC News

Google’s popular Street View project may have collected personal information of members of Congress, including some involved in national security issues.

The claim was made by leading advocacy group, Consumer Watchdog which wants Congress to hold hearings into what data Google’s Street View possesses.

Google admitted it mistakenly collected information, transmitted over unsecured wireless networks, as its cars filmed locations for mapping purposes.

Google said the problem began in 2006.

The issue came to light when German authorities asked to audit the data.

The search giant said the snippets could include parts of an email, text, photograph, or even the website someone might be viewing.

“We think the Google Wi-Spy effort is one of the biggest wire tapping scandals in US history,” John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog told BBC News.

Drive-by spying

The group conducted an experiment to highlight the vulnerability some users expose themselves to by retracing the same routes, used by Street View cars, to detect unencrypted or open networks.

To read more, visit: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8802741.stm

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