German prosecutors are likely to drop a criminal probe into whether cars sent out to take photos for Google Street View illegally gathered more data than they were supposed to. Though no official statement has been made, Bloomberg reports that two people “familiar with the issue” said that it would be dropped.
The issue at hand arose in 2010 when Google vehicles deployed around Europe gathered data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks. While Google has said that this was an accident, it caused people to complain, and this was what started the criminal probe. The investigation has now finished and the prosecutors are preparing to announce their decision.
The two informants, who did not want to be identified because the issue is yet to be officially resolved, said that the prosecutors involved didn’t find any evidence of criminal activity. This doesn’t mean that Google is in the clear, however. Johannes Caspar, data commissioner for the city of Hamburg, where the prosecutors are based, has said that if the criminal probe is dropped, his office will begin its own administrative investigation into the incident.
Do you think that Google knowingly snooped on Wi-Fi networks? Or was this an accident, as Google says?