According to an un-redacted version of an investigative report by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a Google engineer had purposely developed the software which allowed the company's Street View cars to collect sensitive personal details about people without their knowledge.
Going by the full version of the FCC report, the e-mails which had been shared between the Google engineer and other company officials clearly revealed that "payload data" could be collected by the company. Such data, which essentially included e-mail addresses and text messages, was collected via a program that enabled Google to gather location-based software from residential and business Wi-Fi networks.
Supplied by Google, the report - which finally concluded that the company's actions do not breach FCC or federal eavesdropping regulations - showed that the engineer, identified as "Engineer Doe," has apparently come up with the Wi-Fi collection software for gathering details which he deemed would be useful to the company for offering other services.
Despite the fact that a Google spokeswoman has asserted that Google had "voluntarily" made the full version of the report available, barring the names of individuals," the report contradicts the company's earlier insistence that its Street View cars had `inadvertently' collected sensitive personal information over Wi-Fi networks.
The spokeswoman said that while Google disagree with some of the statements made in the report, it does "agree with the FCC's conclusion that we did not break the law," and added: "We hope that we can now put this matter behind us."