“Engineer Doe specifically told two engineers working on the project, including a senior manager, about collecting payload data,” the agency said in the report. “Nevertheless, managers of the Street View project and other Google employees who worked on Street View have uniformly asserted in declarations and interviews” that they didn’t know about the private-data gathering, which began in 2007, until April or May 2010.
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The unidentified engineer, who made the disclosure in an internal project document, also told at least two fellow workers about how the software program would access so-called payload data, which includes personal information such as e-mails, according to the FCC report, which was re-released yesterday by the company with fewer portions redacted.
The FCC compiled the report as part of an investigation into whether Google’s collection of private data through its Street View map product was a violation of the Communications Act. The agency said in the April 13 document that it decided not to penalize Google for the data-gathering, though it assessed a $25,000 fine for not cooperating with the inquiry.
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