Google Street View's Wi-Fi snooping engineer is outed

The Times says it uncovered Marius Milner's identity through a state investigator who was involved in a separate inquiry into Street View.

By Ian Paul, PC World |  Security, Google, Google Street View

The engineer who wrote the code causing Google's Street View cars to capture unencrypted Wi-Fi traffic in several countries has been identified, according to an online report. Marius Milner, currently a software engineer for Google's YouTube, was the person responsible for creating Street View's Wi-Fi traffic recording software, The New York Times is reporting. The Times said it uncovered Milner's identity through a former state investigator who was involved in a separate inquiry into Google Street View. Milner also appears to be the creator of NetStumbler, a security application for Windows PCs that lets users optimize their wireless network and plug up any potential security holes.

The Street View engineer's identity has become a hot topic in recent days after Google released a copy of an FCC investigation suggesting Google employees knew Street View cars were data snooping on open Wi-Fi networks. Google had previously stated that it unintentionally collected data from unprotected Wi-Fi networks all over the globe capturing snippets of e-mails, instant messages, web browsing and other online activity.

How It All Started

Google's Wi-Fi woes started in 2010 after the company received a request from Germany's data protection authority to audit the information that Street View cars collected. As part of the project, Google was recording publicly available identifying information from Wi-Fi routers around the world in order to create a router location database to help improve the accuracy of location-based services for Android phones and other Google products. But the search giant also said its cars had mistakenly collected fragments of user data in the process.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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