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September 14, 2011

Google to offer wi-fi users opt-out

Users could opt out of being tracked by location

By CBR Staff Writer

Google will allow users of wi-fi networks to opt out of the search engine company’s location tracking feature.

Google’s location tracking features have come under increasing scrutiny in Europe, leading to repeated aplogies by the serach engine company. European regulators have raised concerns about Google location tracking of Wi-Fi network users to pinpoint where cell phone users are.

Google has apparently played it safe this time, saying that users have the option to choose whether they want to be tracked by Google or not. The new option is expected to be introduced soon, according to a blog posted by Google privacy counsel Peter Fleischer.

Last year, Google was embroiled in a duel with privacy campaigners in Europe. The company had to apologise after it was revealed that cars collecting information for its online mapping service had been collecting information about users transmitted over neighborhood Wi-Fi networks in the US, Europe and other parts of the world without anybody’s knowledge.

Google aplogised, saying that a tecchical glitch in its software program led to the unauthorised gathering of data.

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