Google Street View car

Remember when we mentioned that Google, through its Street View camera cars, had accidentally captured "bits of data" from unsecured WiFi networks? The search engine giant has now admitted that the street mapping cars captured quite a more. In fact, when the vehicles found open networks they were apparently able to snag passwords, emails and web pages.

How's that? The antennae on top of a Street View car registers the name and location of any available network as it passes through a given neighborhood. This data is then used to sell advertising. Google had initially said that the antennae only captured a small amount of data, but now it appears that that potentially millions of emails and passwords were recorded.

The company says this was all a mistake and is offering an apology. As soon as they found out their cars were capable of recording such information, the entire fleet was grounded and the authorities were alerted. Google has since changed its vehicles so that they no longer collect wireless information.

This is not enough for some. According to The Daily Mail, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office is launching an investigation and Scotland Yard is checking to see if laws were broken. Privacy advocates are calling this a massive scandal, seeking further investigation and third party audits.

[Source: The Daily Mail]