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Google Admits to Breaching Privacy

by Jack McGrath | October 26, 2010October 26, 2010 7:00 pm PDT

In a written statement on October 22nd, Google VP Alan Eustace provided the public with a few more details on the company’s fishy privacy scandal that broke back in May. It turns out that some of vehicles that Google used to create their Street View database accidentally intercepted information sent over wireless networks in nearby areas. While it appears as if the company is downplaying the scale of this privacy breach, some sources are saying that millions of internet users have been affected. While this very well could have been accidental, it begs the question: What is Google going to do now? Better yet, is it too little, too late?

parisGoogle recently appointed Alma Whitten to spearhead the privacy issues that are existing within Google’s infrastructure. While the name may be unfamiliar to some, Ms. Whitten is renowned within her field, having a Ph.D. specializing in the human factors that are challenging current technology. Though the company admits that one person will not fix this security problem and they have promised to add employees to Ms. Whitten’s division in order that they may assure that the sensitive information of customers does not fall into the wrong hands.

Mr. Eustace admitted that the company’s current system was not set up to appropriately allocate resources and manpower for such a large company. In order to ensure the quality of engineers, Google is adding processes to assure the appropriate collection and use of information. Leaders are required to submit a document outlining his or her division’s initiative for privacy.

Considering the fact that Canada and the United Kingdom have both started thorough investigations into the security breaches, is it too late for Google to make up for its mistake? The answer is less than clear, though the reopening of investigations is going to result in intensified scrutiny of the company.

What do you think? Is it okay for a company such as Google to collect information that makes our everyday lives easier at the cost of sensitive fragments of our data? Does Google deserve to be punished? Let us know in the comments below.

Jack McGrath

Rooted in his childhood obsession with dismantling and reassembling gizmos and gadgets around the house, Jack McGrath's knowledge of programming,...