Google staff - knew of wi-fi snooping, report says

Updated on: 2012-04-30 || Source: bbc.com

The Google engineer who wrote a program that collected personal data from wi-fi networks told at least two other colleagues, a report has revealed.

Google released the full investigation conducted by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

It said senior staff on the Street View team were unaware of the plans.

The company was fined $25,000 (£15,300) earlier this month for impeding the FCC's investigation, but was ruled to not have broken the law.

The report came two weeks after a heavily redacted version was released by the FCC at the time of the original fine.

It detailed how one Google engineer, referred to only as "Engineer Doe", produced a computer program capable of collecting data from people's unsecured home wireless networks.

The data gathered included contents of some emails and web browsing history.

'Collect, store and review'

The collection took place while Google was photographing areas in its Street View car between 2008 and 2010.

"Engineer Doe specifically told two engineers working on the project, including a senior manager, about collecting payload data," the agency said in its report.

"Engineer Doe intended to collect, store and review payload data for possible use in other Google projects."

However, the investigation added that other senior managers on the Street View team were unaware of Engineer Doe's actions.

Google said it wanted to now "put the matter behind us".

"We decided to voluntarily make the entire document available except for the names of individuals," the company said.

"While we disagree with some of the statements made in the document, we agree with the FCC's conclusion that we did not break the law."

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