Google's Street View cars to hit the road again following privacy scandal

Google has announced it will resume capturing images for its Street View service next week, after a scandal which saw private data accidentally captured by rogue code and left the search giant red-faced as privacy advocates pounced.

The company is still facing backlash across the globe for the privacy breach, which saw Google unwittingly collect a small sample of private data from a number of un-protected WiFi networks. According to Google, rogue code that an "engineer working on an experimental WiFi project wrote" somehow managed to find its way into WiFi scanning equipment that was used by Google to capture data such as SSID information and MAC addresses.

A public apology was posted today on the Google Australia blog as the local privacy commissioner announced the closure an investigation into the incident, while Irish, Danish and Austrian government officials have already given Google permission to delete the data. Google says negotiations are still continuing between in other affected countries about the best way to delete the collected data.

But now that the company has removed all WiFi scanning equipment from the Street View cars, and a review into the incident by security consulting firm Stroz Friedberg is complete and has been sent to all affected countries, Google says it's time for the cars to hit the road again, after being grounded immediately when the problem was first discovered.

The specially modified cars will be on the streets again in Ireland, Norway, South Africa and Sweden from Monday next week, capturing photos for Google's popular Street View service which allows users to view detailed and interactive images of streets around the world on Google Maps. The cars will also be capturing 3-D building imagery, which Google says will help improve the accuracy of building positions for Google's geo products, including Maps and Google Earth.

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16 Comments

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Whole my family has been catch by a google car in Milan (Italy)past in 2008 and pictures are still online, our faces are hidden but I don't know if we are been lucky or not.

The prob with street view is that its opt out (works for street view) not opt in (works for privacy not street view). I should have to allow a car to drive down the street take pictures and put them on the internet then complain about it afterwards.

Google maps is absolutely massive. It's not everyday you hear one of things happen, it's inevitable they're going to miss something.

Non-tech people are just idiotic and think that everything can be controlled on the Internet. >.<

Purify said,
Google maps is absolutely massive. It's not everyday you hear one of things happen, it's inevitable they're going to miss something.

Non-tech people are just idiotic and think that everything can be controlled on the Internet. >.<

True, people don't understand as too how the internet works. Google maps is too big to keep all content safe and legal. Oh well at least they can get back to there jobs on street view.

Riggers said,
My cat it`s the front windows of our house, was his privacy invaded?

Your cat can request google to remove the images of him.

Riggers said,

It`s a cat m8, it can`t talk or write a letter /jk

But you can make a sign with the cat's face on it and a cartoon balloon over the cat and pretty much write your own ticket to anything you want the cat to say.

I'd be more worried about a brick to the face, or a even a .303 round. xD. Street view although goo d is a bit hard to keep updated

Perhaps they could fix the Android Navigation problems facing Street view. The option is no longer available on my HTC Desire

Meph said,
I really wouldn't like the job of driving a street view car. You'd get so bored.

But imagine what you'd see when your driving around Would be a good way to explore the country.

Meph said,
I really wouldn't like the job of driving a street view car. You'd get so bored.

bored? huh? see the country. wish they'd get to some more cities in IA