Google maps is famous for its map images and reliable directions on the web, but how they have been gathering information may just surprise you and has spurred some civil legal action and debate in the United States and abroad recently.
The issue has to do with Google’s interception of unsecured wireless networks. If you have ever sat in your car or even in your own home and jumped on someone else’s broadband connection wirelessly, then apparently you are not breaking the law since the connection is not encrypted or made secure. Google has done this extensively since 2007 with the aim to improve its map data. The problem is that is has also picked up and collected private, personal information along the way and United States senators have been challenging the company on this issue.
Recently authorities in Germany, France and Spain have ordered Google to hand over the private data it has collected. In the United States there are pending civil litigations against the company regarding this security breach. Google claims that the data, once picked up wirelessly, is fragmented. They have, however; decided to stop using Street View cars in collecting information until these issues can be resolved.