Google Street View And Our Personal Data!

Korea Police Confiscate Google Street View

Google Street View is in trouble in South Korea over the fact that Google's street cars have been collecting personal data along with pictures of the streets that it photographs! Evidently the WIFI system that is attached to the camera is meant to pick up certain data so that it can be accurate when placing the pictures with the right area and postcode. So what's been going on there? Evidently South Korea raided Google's Offices, and confiscated all their computers storing Google Street View Cars, in that country.

Google was ready to go with their Street View cars, and had already sent them out on the streets of South Korea, complete with their WIFI technology and camera's purely to collect information for their Google Maps. It is believed that the Korean authorities are reacting to the earlier news from around the world, and maybe are just being over cautious. It is not known whether Google have taken away the code from their equipment that caused the trouble in the first place!

Global Fiasco

So just what have those Google guys been up too? Well it seems that they have got themselves into a stewpot of a mess! Earlier this year, Google Street View cars were investigated by France, American and the UK for collecting information on their WIFI thingy on the top of the Google Car Camera. This Wireless WIFI thingy has been a naughty little WIFI. It has been collecting personal data from people's Computers, as it has gone sailing past your house while taking pictures. Google states that the WIFI is used to collect wireless data as it travels around, so determining the positioning of the road ands areas for the Internet and Google Maps. What it forgot to mention was the fact that it had a code implanted in it, that should have been taken out before using it for Google Street View. Google says it was a 'mistake', and humbly apologize. They said that it had been used for a previous WIFI project and they had forgotten to remove it. Fair enough, but what data did they 'collect'?.

Personal Payload Data

Following a request by data protection authorities in Germany, it came to light that Google had grabbed data from non secure hotspots and this had been going on for years. So of course Google had to come up with the information that it had collected and show exactly what it implied. To start with, it seems that Google had somehow got information on personal passwords and maybe access to more private things like bank details etc.

With great relief Google was cleared of the charges in the UK because it seems that the information that they had recieved was so small and insignificant that the samples they took did not break any data protection laws.

Google was mortified and said this was a mistake, but the ICO (information Commissioner office) said Google was wrong to collect it, and be careful in the future.

Still Under Investigation

Google is still under investigation in the UK even thought they have been cleared there, they are still keeping an eye on the situation, and France Spain Germany and Australia. In the States Google faces a class action lawsuit of the data incident, and are still under investigation in at least 38 American States.

Now we all know how much Big Brother seems to be peering over our shoulders these days, so it's not surprising when we suddenly hear about a breach of trust or violation of our privacy, we tend to go slightly mad. This is what has been happening in the Google world of Google Street View recently. Google in all their innocence, and I quite believe that statement, went ambling off across the country and the world, doing what they do best, taking pictures of our neighbourhoods, showing us the streets and towns that we would probably never manage to get too through lack of money or time off from work, and let's face it, it is also very useful because it shows us exactly what a, well, unpleasant place you may have made the mistake of travelling too! and believe me when I say that I have fallen into the brochure trap before! Like I am sure most of you have.

My Personal review

Well what do you all think about this? I personally think that Google is a very reputable firm who would not go out of their way to deliberately 'spy' on any country or citizens of that country. Lets look at the facts.

1.What good would it do them to know about our personal passwords? Let's face it, most of our passwords are in Google anyway, all they would have to do is log in themselves!

2. Why would they want our bank details or online buying accounts? Google is a multi million pound or dollars industry, I don't think that they would want our money however much we have in the bank!

3.Why would they do this so openly, knowing that they could possibly be found out and prosecuted?

4. And last but not least, does anybody think that Google would be stupid enough to go to Korea and steal their citizens personal data?!

No I don't think so!

The Uk has given them the all clear and has done a thorough investigation into this allegation. We have found them innocent if perhaps a bit naive! Even though it is ongoing and being monitored.

Google is probably one of the most trustworthy companies on the internet. They would not gain anything by stealing or trying to get any data that would advance them in any way. They are one of the most successful organisations on the planet. They do not need any help in becoming more successful.

But that is my opinion.

The only thing I would like to say to them is, why haven't you made sure that your WIFI has a reliable code in it? Or is it because where technology is concerned maybe, by picking up any form of radio signal from any given spot, there is no way on Earth that you can filter it completely? or maybe I am wrong, what do I know?

So, as I said, that's my opinion.

What's yours?

 If you like mysteries, psychic phenomena, true stories, or just a good laugh, please feel free to click on my profile page, the link is below, it would be great to see you.

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Comments 35 comments

valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

More google street news, Nell Rose. I do believe you are getting addicted to this google street map thing. Interesting story, though like you, I tend to think Korea overreacted quite a bit. Google really does have most of our passwords, and would only have to ask us to send them in again if they lost them. Doubt they'd be interested in my bank account, as it won't even pay my small bills, it certainly wouldn't do much for google. (:v

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

What an interesting subject :-)

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, valerie, I know exactly what you mean! if they saw my bank account they would feel sorry for me and give me some money! lol this is the last google street view one, I just thought it was quite amusing to think these guys got raided because of a simple mistake! thanks as always nell

Hi, De Greek, just trying to earn the pennies! ha ha but the trouble with me is that I end up with a story that has nothing to do with ads! oh well I will get there one of these days! I get so carried away with something that interests me, I forget it has to have a good reason to be read! thanks for reading it cheers nell

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

Wow! The more I read about what can be found out through WiFi the more I am glad our computers use a plug. I was really frustrated when my husband burnt out the the WiFi, but now, I don't think I would replace it.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Ivorwen, I know, it's a bit scary don't you think? I don't have any big bank accounts, wish I had! lol but if you did something like this could be dangerous. i don't do online banking for this reason, I prefer to say what is in the bank stays in the bank! thanks again nell

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

That is me, I do as little online as as possible although I do let a couple of account be paid this way but I think the question here is not that Google can or can't be trusted but the fact that something like this can be done! Last I heard our government listens in on all our calls and key words said make then pay attention, heck if I knew those key words I would drive those nosy little fairies bonkers.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Polly, I don't usually write about things like this but this just fascinated me. So you are right to be suspicious! lol I love what you said about the little fairies and driving them bonkers! hee hee we will have to come up with so good keywords! mind you will will probably be arrested! thanks as always nell

Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 6 years ago from trailer in the country

this was a fascinating article...not one I ever would have thought of makes me think, though....even if google doesn't need the information...someone else maybe be using it.

Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Hi NELL, well i am happy to see you again. Great story. I had no idea this was even happening. DUH

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Another great hub from you. Congratulation for your top score. I found your hub always on top. I have to learn from you, my friend. Actually I never know that google doing this. I thought google has good reputable. I hope the best. Thank you very much, Nell. Vote this up.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Enlydia, you are right, I never thought of that, I don't think that Google would do it, but who else is out there doing it? very good point, thanks nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Granny's House, nice to see you too, I just saw this in the paper and looked it up on the internet and it seemed fascinating to me that this could happen, but I think I am getting into google street view to much these days, it is addictive! lol thanks again nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, prasetio, thank you so much for your kind words, you are a great writer, and I also love your hubs too. I think where this Google trouble is concerned I think that it was probably a genuine mistake on their part, but who really knows? thanks for reading it, cheers nell

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Congrats on the 100 today~! Great piece and really can't believe that this is available - I'm still muddling along about this and hoping to heaven no one is spying on me at swim aerobics and it makes the national news! I do see its validity in many ways but then I think anything good has a down side as well!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Audrey, thanks for the congrats! I KNOW would you believe it? I am so happy! yeah! ha ha it's keeping it there that is bothering me! ha ha I am sure they are watching you swimming, they are waiting for you to do something so funny then they will put it on youtube! hee hee I just think this is a mistake, I know I wouldn't go to Korea and start spying! ha ha I can't even go down the town without someone spotting me and saying, what are you up too? thanks again as always cheers nell

carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Nell Rose: there is certainly, from the South Korean viewpoint, cause for concern since the data collected could have security implications potentially available to their enemies -- particularly the regime in the north.

Great Post!!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, carolina muscle, yeah I do see your point, what a dangerous position to get themselves into. I think that it is once again one of those situations where the modern west go about there business trying to improve technology, in all our innocence, and then boom, we find ourselves in a society of mistrust and people beyond the border who are just so suspicious of people its beyond anything we the modern civilised society understands, so yeah you are right, they should be careful. I was doing a tongue in cheek type of thing, imagining good old google tootling on their way, and everyone thinking they are spys! thanks again nell

Medkh9 6 years ago

google services new services like google map and google street view has brought over so many legal problems in several countries particularly the asian countries where the freedom of information is more or less restricted , personally i dont see any harm in google picturing our neighbourhoods and towns , 6 years ago from bear, de, 19701

Attractive and straining story. I hope Google not picture adult activity.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Medkh, thanks for stopping by, I quite agree with you, but the trouble is if when Google try to do it where the country doesn't trust anybody, that's when the whole thing blows up. In England they had to check it out, but have cleared them, but in other countries as you said, it's a different game, thanks nell

Hi,, I don't think Google will do anything to invade the privacy of a persons private home or space, well, I hope not! lol thanks for writing, cheers nell

Gymfroggy profile image

Gymfroggy 6 years ago from United Kingdom

Neat, another google maps hub :-)

It is true that it was rather dubious of Google to steal all that Wifi data. Why would they even need it?

Keep the great Hubs coming!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Gymfroggy, thanks for reading it, yep I think people get too suspicious these days, especially countries that are so low in technology that we already have anyway, why the hell should we want to steal anything they have? cheers nell

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for a well written hub, as always. Quite honestly I don't know what to make of it. After all the street mapps were always there. What is really behind it?

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Hello Hello, sorry it took so long to get back to you, I don't know what they thought they would steal! but that is the trouble with not the world not trusting one another, I think they thought they were spying or something like that! thanks as always nell

ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago


How very interesting! This just goes to show that if you have a wireless network on your private home computer, protect it with a password~! I have never thought about how google does their street view, but now I am very interested in the whole thing. Google sure does have so much going on, don't they? Google searches, Gmail, Google docs, Google maps... Predictably, people will always be suspicious of big corporate companies with lots of moolah. I have trouble deciding for myself, but I am convinced that Korea overreacted.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, AC, thanks for coming over again, I really appreciate it, it was a bit of shock to know that Google had the technology to do this, but as you say, I think korea did overreact, I think they are very trustworthy, but the point is really that who else has the same technology and isn't so trustworthy? scary thought! thanks again nell

ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago

Nell, I see what you mean! I do hope they regulate this powerful technology somehow, but who has the rights to regulate it? Is anyone stepping up to protect us?

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, AC, I have no idea, but it certainly made me think! I forget that everywhere you go, a camera is pointing at you, from cctv to people with camera's, who knows what information someone has got on us? I do sometimes wonder how on earth I get e-mails from someone knowing my name, who I have no idea who it is! where did they get my e-mail from? drives me mad! lol thanks again nell

vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 6 years ago from New York State

Nell Rose, A nicely written Hub, but I think that Google has overstepped their bounds by a lot. People need to open there eyes to the fact that Google is trying to dominate the internet. It wasn't too many years ago that Google was complaining about Microsoft and now they are doing the same things that they complained about themselves.

Weather some know it or not a great deal can be learned about us from your computers. This information is gathered and sold to other companies (The ones that send you all that garbage spam and junk email). Even identities have been stolen from computers. It is my Opinion that Google is evil.....

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, vietnamvet, it's funny you should say that about the e-mails, I have started to get the spam ones on my e-mail instead of the junk mail, that makes it more personal, how the hell did they know where to send it? I do get your point there, thanks again nell

pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

Ha Ha . . . at this point in my life (after my layoff) any criminal would be ill advised to commit ID theft, and be in for a big disappointment. Great hub, scary to know that we are in the decade of big brother. Technology is growing faster than man can tame it.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, pmccray, I know what you mean! My bank account is empty too! but it is scary to think how fast we are going with technology, thanks again nell

ireless Fidelity 5 years ago

This is over a year old, but I just wanted to comment on the person who wrote this article, Nell Rose

"This Wireless WIFI thingy has been a naughty little WIFI"

How do you honestly sit down and write an entire article about this without bothering to figure out what WiFi stands for, or

Wireless Fidelity.. 5 years ago

This is over a year old, but I just wanted to comment on the person who wrote this article, Nell Rose

"This Wireless WIFI thingy has been a naughty little WIFI"

How do you honestly sit down and write an entire article about this without bothering to figure out what WiFi stands for? Thats where I stopped reading and decided to find a better written article

I would hope you didnt take the time out, as opposed to assuming stupid of your followers

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England Author

Wireless Fidelity!! I did write a comment back, but decided that two of us being insulting doesn't really help! first your answer, Wireless Fidelity!! second, this was written 'tongue in cheek' so to speak, in other words, A SENSE OF HUMOUR! something that you are obviously lacking, oh and by the way, before you start casting aspersions on my writing, whats with you above? you didn't finish the first comment, and the second makes no sense! I quote, ' I would hope you didn't take the time out, as opposed to assuming stupid of your followers ! what the heck does that mean? Learning to write in English would be a bonus!

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