Google appointed Alma Whitten as director of privacy across both engineering and product management. Her focus will be to ensure that Google builds effective privacy controls into its products and internal practices. As a second measure Google employees are receiving orientation training on Google’s privacy principles and are required to sign Google’s Code of Conduct, which includes sections on privacy and the protection of user data. The company is also beefing up its compliance mechanisms. every engineering project leader will be required to maintain a privacy design document for each initiative they are working on. This document will record how user data is handled and will be reviewed regularly by managers, as well as by an independent internal audit team.
In May Google had announced that it had mistakenly collected unencrypted WiFi Payload data using its street cars. Now Google admitted that entire emails and URLs were captured, as well as passwords. It apologized that it had failed badly in regard to privacy and that the data is being deleted from its files. It is astonishing that a leading technology company, which handles a huge amount of sensitive data, appeared to lack significant preventative legal measures on privacy.
Arrogance is usually the cause of such missteps; eating humble pie generally follows.
Source: Google and press reports