In Canada: Streetview is dead, long live Streetview

Google has agreed to stop snooping around in Canada, collecting and mining innocent people’s data.

Hurrah, you’ll probably say, but don’t rejoice too soon, because Google being a nefarious data thief have a surprise for you, they will still provide location based data by snooping data via Smartphones, and which smartphone is that? Yes! Android! the be-famed Google’s Trojan.

Just read from the source, paragraph E(Google’s future plans for its location-based services), number 45 to convince yourself that Google is a data thief! See number 47 quoted and  underlined here below.

Source: Office of Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Preliminary Letter of Findings

Complaints under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the Act)
  1. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada initiated three complaints against Google Inc. (Google) on May 31, 2010, pursuant to subsection 11(2) of the Act, after being made aware that Google Street View cars had been collecting payload data from unencrypted WiFi networks during their collection of publicly broadcast WiFi signals (service set identifiers [SSID] information and Media Access Control (“MAC”) addresses.
  2. The three complaints are as follows:
    1. Google’s collection, use or disclosure of payload data was done without the individual’s prior knowledge and consent;
    2. Google’s collection of payload data was done without prior identification of the purposes for which personal information (PI) was collected;
    3. Google’s collection of payload data was not limited to that which was necessary for the purposes identified.
      .
      .
      .

E. Google’s future plans for its location-based services
45.  Google still intends to offer location-based services, but does not intend to resume collection of WiFi data through its Street View cars. Collection is discontinued and Google has no plans to resume it.
46. Google does not intend to contract out to a third party the collection of WiFi data.
47. Google intends to rely on its users’ handsets to collect the information on the location of WiFi networks that it needs for its location-based services database. The improvements in smart-phone technology in the past few years have allowed Google to obtain the data it needs for this purpose from the handsets themselves.
48.  Although it has no tracking tool to keep records of a customer’s locations (and does not intend to create one), Google acknowledges that it does need to examine the potential privacy concerns of this method of collection.

I just pity anyone using Google’s products, a company that will sell their mothers to get to you private data. Good luck people, you’ve been warned!