Google to hand over Wi-Fi data in two days

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Google to hand over Wi-Fi data in two days

Eric Schmidt admits search firm 'screwed up'.

Google has confirmed that the data on private Wi-Fi connections collected by "mistake" will be handed over to European regulators within the next two days.

The search giant raised serious privacy concerns after legacy code designed to sample "all categories of publicly broadcast Wi-Fi data" found its way onto the company's Street View cars, angering watchdogs in Spain, France and Germany.

Google has already said that it is working with authorities in the affected countries, which also include the Czech Republic and Italy, to find a compromise that will suit all parties.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt told the Financial Times that the company had "screwed up" by collecting the data.

The firm has a policy of allowing developers to spend 20 percent of their time working on their own creative projects, and it has been suggested that the Wi-Fi code was developed as a result of this arrangement.

However, Schmidt said that it is unclear whether this was the case, and that the policy will not be altered because doing would so would be "a terrible thing and put a chilling effect on creativity".

Schmidt also defended the company from broader privacy concerns, claiming that data stored by Google is more secure than that kept by individuals or businesses using their own systems.

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