Big Brother is always watching. Or listening. Or maybe just nabbing some info off of your unsecured Wi-Fi network. Google
has officially grounded its fleet of Street View
cars after discovering that the rolling tech stations were inadvertently sampling data from open Wi-Fi networks. How did this happen? According to a post on the search giant's blog, a piece of errant code found its way into the same program that Google uses to help pinpoint businesses in your area. As a result, tiny snippets of information were stored in the halls of Googledom as the Street View cars rolled through towns and cities all over the globe. The company says that it was never looked at and that it wants to delete the information as soon as it gets the OK from authorities.
If it's any consolation, Google
says that the bits of data should be very small and very fragmented. Why? For one thing, the Street View cars are moving, and the company says that the program was designed to change channels five times per second. Even so, Google will submit the software to a third party for review. The flaw was discovered following an audit from the German Data Protection Agency.
Let this be a lesson to you, kids: lock down your Wi-Fi.