Skip to main content

Google Chief Blames Lone Engineer for Wi-Fi Snooping

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has blamed the search giant's "mistaken" collection of Wi-Fi traffic data on the actions of a rogue Google software engineer.

The Financial Times (opens in new tab) reports that Schmidt believes the error occurred after one of Google's engineers wrote some rogue code into Street View's software system.

Google has publicly apologised for the incident and has promised to cooperate with data protection agencies worldwide who are currently investigating the matter.

According to the reports, the unnamed engineer has been put under internal investigation by the company.

Google has been accused by several countries, including Spain, Italy, UK, Germany and Canada, of downloading payload data from unprotected wireless networks while taking images from its wireless cameras mounted on the Street View cars, for its Google Maps Street View service.

Schmidt has promised to hand over to European regulators all so-called 'payload data' collected by Google.

This incident isn't the first time Google has come under fire over privacy. Earlier in the year, privacy watchdogs were upset after security loopholes were revealed in Google's Buzz messaging service.