Graham Calls for Google Privacy Breach Investigation

By Elaine Reyes
|  Thursday, May 20, 2010  |  Updated 2:46 PM EDT
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Graham Calls for Google Privacy Breach Investigation

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A D.C. councilman joined the ranks of lawmakers worldwide in criticizing Google for gathering personal data sent over unsecured WiFi systems.

The Internet giant admitted that Street View cars, which cruise for photographs in cities in more than 30 countries, inadvertently gathered the data because of an engineering glitch.

Lawmakers from the United States and Europe asked for an investigation, including D.C. Councilman Jim Graham. He wants city officials to investigate any law violations, including privacy or antitrust laws, according to Post Tech. It’s not clear where the breach took place, who had access to it and how it may harm customers.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said his company has “a lot of internal controls in place,” but “obviously, they didn’t prevent this error from occurring.”

“We screwed up, I’m not going to make any excuses about it,” Brin said.

Consumer Watchdog, a U.S. consumer advocacy group, called on the Federal Trade Commission to launch a probe into the collection of private WiFi information by Street View cars, calling the practice a “flagrant intrusion into consumer’s privacy.”

The FTC said it is coming up with ways to guide firms on privacy issues.

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