East Hawaii News

Google Settles With States on Data Interception

March 12, 2013, 5:23 PM HST
* Updated March 12, 5:25 PM
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It turns out Google was collecting more than images when its Street View cameras were traveling around the nation’s roadways.

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs announced today that Hawaii is part of a $7 million settlement with the internet giant over its collection of data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks while taking photographs between 2008 and 2010.

In addition to cameras, Google’s Street View cars were equipped with antennae and software that the company has acknowledged collected information for use in future geolocation services.

However, at the same time it was also collecting information on websites being visited, email communications and other confidential data as the cars were driving by.

According to the settlement with 37 states and the District of Columbia, the clandestine data has been segregated and secured and will be destroyed.

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Google claims that the data has not and will not be used in any product or service and was not disclosed to any third parties.

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The company has also agreed to train its employees about privacy laws and confidentiality of user data, a program which will continue for at least 10 years. It must also conduct a public service advertising campaign to help educate consumers on ways to better secure their personal information while using wireless networks.

Hawai`is share of the settlement is $106,179. It was not immediately clear for what those funds will be used.

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