Not guilty because... I didn't read the email! Yeah, that's it!
Right. Some "rogue engineer" wrote the software code that enabled Google's Street View cameras to capture Wi-Fi data. And here I am so backwards that I didn't even know cameras could do that. Or maybe the "rogue engineer" wrote some software that gave him the authority to install wardriving gear in the cars, eh?
Sound very plausible. Well, maybe not...
"Whether or not the harm of Google's Wi-Spy abuses is comparable with their magnitude, I would like to suggest that Google's privacy practices can no longer be considered acceptable.
* If a rogue Chinese official collected this much information on American citizens, even without authorization within the Chinese Government, we would be outraged
* If a rogue CIA or FBI agent collected this much information on American citizens, even without authorization from appropriate authorities with the Federal Government, we would once again be outraged.
And yet we now know that Google's Wi-Spy scandal was not the work of a rogue employee, but had been cleared and was intentional." (This is a very worthwhile article, and goes far beyond this one particular scandal. The article's assertion that this was intentional links to the following:)
"Engineer in Google Case Is Identified:
"Google long maintained that the engineer was solely responsible for this aspect of the project, which resulted in official investigations, some still unresolved, in more than a dozen countries. But a complete version of the F.C.C.’s report, released by Google on Saturday, has cast doubt on that explanation, saying that the engineer informed at least one superior and that seven engineers who worked on the code were all in a position to know what was going on.
The F.C.C. report also had Engineer Doe spelling out his intentions quite clearly in his initial proposal. Managers of the Street View project said they never read it. "
Never read it. And they think that, even if it were true, it absolves them of responsibility? I guess they do.
On the other hand, some people think that he was hired precisely for his experience in writing wardriving software.