State AGs to Probe Google’s “Deeply Disturbing Invasion” of Wi-Fi Data
Looks like “no harm, no foul” isn’t good enough for state regulators when it comes to the inadvertent collection of user data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks by Google’s Street View cars. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said today that his office is spearheading a multistate investigation into Google’s Wi-Fi data-gathering debacle.
“My office will lead a multistate investigation–expected to involve a significant number of states–into Google’s deeply disturbing invasion of personal privacy,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “Street View cannot mean Complete View–invading home and business computer networks and vacuuming up personal information and communications. Consumers have a right and a need to know what personal information–which could include emails, web browsing and passwords–Google may have collected, how and why. Google must come clean, explaining how and why it intercepted and saved private information broadcast over personal and business wireless networks.”
Blumenthal says some 30 states have expressed concern over the matter, and he expects a number of them to ultimately join the investigation, which will determine the legality of Google’s collection of data from personal wireless networks.
Google (GOOG), for its part, insists the practice wasn’t illegal–just stupid.