Google Engineer Told Others of Data Scoop

A Google Inc. engineer told others at the company about his plan to scoop up personal information from wireless-network users as specially equipped cars drove by their homes, but the practice continued for two years after the internal disclosures, a Federal Communications Commission investigation found.

The engineer, whose name hasn’t been disclosed, explained his plans to other engineers and at least one senior manager involved with the project, known as Street View, in 2008, the FCC report states. Nevertheless, it says, Street View managers told the agency they didn’t learn the Google cars were collecting the personal information until 2010.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik