A Google Inc engineer who wrote a computer program able to gathering personal data from people’s home wireless networks, told at least two other Google employees about it, though the company claimed it did not know, reports said.
The detail was revealed in a Federal Communications Commission’s investigation, although had been redacted out by the FCC when it released its report 2 weeks ago. Google released the report itself over the weekend, with merely names and telephone numbers blacked out.
Google was fined $25,000 by the FCC for hindering its investigation into the matter, where the company’s Street View cars collected the Wi-Fi data over some years while crisscrossing the globe taking panoramic pictures of streets.
According to the Google-released report, the company told that the FCC it did not firstly know about software that would collect personal data know as payload data.
The FCC report said that “Nevertheless, managers of the Street View project and other Google employees who worked on Street View have uniformly asserted in declarations and interviews that they did not know about it.”
Google released the less-edited version of the report to the media after saying it had helped fully with the agency.
“We decided to voluntarily make the entire document available except for the names of individuals. 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. We hope that we can now put this matter behind us,” the company said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters.