The Financial Times has an update on Google’s Wi-Fi data-gathering scandal. A few weeks ago, the online services giant announced that, for more than three years — in more than 30 countries — it had been “mistakenly collecting” personal data from open WiFi networks as its vehicles roamed the streets taking photos for its Street View mapping service. The data could include e-mail messages, passwords, or Web site visits.
Data protection authorities in Germany, France and Spain have asked Google to hand over the hard drives containing the “payload” data – which could contain anything from e-mails to website addresses being visited by individuals – for an investigation.
However, other data protection authorities and privacy campaigners, such as the US-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, fear that handing over the hard drives would harm privacy further.
Google said its external lawyers had advised the company not to hand over the data.
Google is expected to propose a compromise solution this week, but did not outline what this would be.