Google could face heavy fines under Britain's privacy laws after it admitted copying computer passwords and entire emails from households across the UK. Google Street View Google Street View cars captured the data from wi-fi networks The US firm says the personal data was picked up from wireless networks when its fleet of cars drove down residential roads taking photographs for its highly controversial Street View project. Millions of homes could be affected, and anti-surveillance campaigners have described the error as "outrageous".
Google where "WarDriving" at the same time with their street view cars. Gathering wireless access point locations, as they can be useful with location aware services. You could even describe it as a poor man's GPS. If you know the location of access points in range then you know your location. But they must also have been eavesdropping on the communications taking place over these networks at the same time, and recording them. Its not difficult to do, but is a very deliberate act. The only information that they would be able to access is non encrypted, that said WEP can easily broken, as can WPA with enough computing power, and a list of keys. This is one to watch out for when using public hotspots and any other non-encrypted networks, is very easy for some to listen. And see what websites you are visiting, e-mail is particularly at risk as passwords are send in plain text!! One way round this when using public hotspots is to use a VPN service.