Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

Summary: The investigation into Google's unauthorized collection of data over WiFi by its Street View cars is now 38 states strong, Connecticut's AG said today.

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A majority of U.S. states have joined the fight by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal against Google, demanding answers about the accidental collection of data over unsecured WiFi networks while Street View cars snapped outdoor photos. (AG's Statement)

In total, 38 states are part of a multistate investigation into Google's collection of the data. The coalition, threatening legal action, is making some demands. They include:

  • The names of the specific individuals responsible for the code that allowed Google to collect the data.
  • Specific locations where data was collected.
  • An explanation of how the software was included in the Google network and how the company could have been unaware that the data was being collected.
  • Specifics about what sort of data the code was designed to collect - random bits of information or specific types of data files.

In a statement, Blumenthal said:

Google’s responses continue to generate more questions than they answer... Google must come completely clean, fully explaining how this invasion of personal privacy happened and why.

In a Wall Street Journal report, Google reiterated that the data collection was a mistake but also said that it did nothing illegal. It said it is working with authorities on their investigation. Other countries have launched similar investigations.

Previous coverage:

Topics: Mobility, Google, Networking, Wi-Fi

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28 comments
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  • YES!

    Take em down!
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • I bet it's the same 38 states ...

      whose budget is in deep poopoo that desperately need a source of revenue.
      LBiege
      • THey have a right to know. As do we.

        @LBiege

        What actually happened. For the records, I do not believe Google's explanation of the problem. I believe they were knowingly doing this and got caught red handed.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

        @LBiege
        Then, why not get it from what in my opinion is the merry band of thieves.
        eargasm
    • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

      @NStalnecker wanna bet absolutely nothing comes of this? A "fine" doesn't count, they almost always come with the caveat that "XYZ corp maintains they did nothing wrong..." They are legally off the hook, just out a few pennies in the grand scheme of things.

      Google is too connected to NSA et al to take any serious hit. Who knows, they the whole flap may have been Google carrying out a black budget goobermint contract for all we know.

      Just that someone somewhere got a conscience and leaked the story. Just like any good corporation; the only issue is just don't get caught, not "don't be evil."

      http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/
      pgit
    • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

      I'm really amused by the sheer virulence of these people. They're acting all mega-pissed (because they want some of that fat settlement) but - in my entirely controversial opinion - if you allow your wireless to go unsecured then you have no privacy to violate and thus no complaint.
      tarscrap
    • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

      @NStalnecker are any of yall aware that this was discovered via googles openness? I mean it was discovered in one of googles public logs that there system did this.
      chewsstudio
  • Its called security

    Turn it on. It takes 5 seconds to configure and voila! No more snooping. If you are not smart enough to click the checkbox and enter a password on your router to protect your internal network, then you should not have an internal network and just use the direct connection provided by your ISP. If you decide to take on the responsibility of implementing a network in your house, then you also accept the responsibility of securing your systems. The lazy and the ignorant deserve what they get, regardless of how loudly they complain.
    slenGypsum
    • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

      @slenGypsum

      I tend to agree - to me it's about the same as running an ethernet wire from your house out to the road, then whining when someone plugs into it and gets on your network. People who don't understand the technology they're using should either learn or hire someone who does. That said, I think Google has a bit of 'splainin' to do....
      hitech_rednek
    • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

      @slenGypsum
      By your arguement - it would be OK for me to walk up to you, shoot you and steal your money because you are "too lazy and ignorant" to protect yourself and, therefore, deserve what you get!

      Instead of posters on this thread ( and just about every other thread on the rapidly deteriorating site) calling people "morons" and "idiots", why not add some constructive comments on how a lay user of I.T. can protect themselves? I'm guessing that you are an absolute expert in everything I.T. Aren't you?
      TigerMark
      • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

        Wrong the analogy is you take your money to the curb and throw it down and leave. By your analogy none in the country would be alive. And furthermore lets say the money in question consists of a slug.
        Altotus
    • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

      @slenGypsum Since TigerMarks analogy didn't work for at least some here, how about this. You park your car in the street and don't take the keys out. So guy sees the keys and takes your car. According to you he did nothing wrong and you deserve to lose your car because you left the keys in it. While it's stupid to leave your keys in your car, two wrongs do not make Google right.
      non-biased
  • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

    Who wants to bet that Microsoft and Apple is behind the scenes egging this on? They hate the whole free services consumer friendly idea that Google advocates and want to go back to doing things the good ol' fashion way . . . milking the consumer for all they got.

    Cut on your wifi security folks.
    eprisencc
    • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

      @eprisencc
      Just like google helped whined to the EU about microsoft giving away their free IE?? Are you talking about like this??
      eargasm
  • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

    Don't be a moron.<br><br>SECURE YOUR NETWORK....and this won't happen.<br><br>What really worries me is that we have so many "morons" in congress who don't have their home networks secured.<br><br>It blows my mind that in an information age such as this we have so many ignorant people out there who can't setup the secuirty on their wireless network; which my 11 year old cousin was able to do on her own. Then they have the odacity to point the finger at Google for "snooping". IMO Google did them a favor by drawing attention to the problem!<br><br>If you haven't secured your home network, and someone else snoops on it, IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT.<br><br>./rant
    keitha73-23430377852780425463534611145075
    • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

      @keitha73 @slenGypsum So what you are saying is theft is justified as long as the victim did not take all measures necessary to protect themselves?
      heytherezippy
      • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

        No theft when its given away.
        Altotus
    • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

      @keitha73 audacity. No such word as odacity.
      rle11wb@...
  • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

    It's not authorized if you are going to broadcast it in the clear!
    William_P
  • RE: Investigation into Google's WiFi snooping now 38 states strong

    For the first time I have to agree with Steve Jobs... "Do no evil"... is all "bullshit".
    Masari.Jones