John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Look, Sergey, a Christmas Card From the Connecticut AG! Wait…

Google’s amends for inadvertently harvesting consumer data with its Street View cars may have been good enough for the Federal Trade Commission, but not for Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal. Working with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, his office has issued a civil investigative demand, hoping to force the company to turn over the personal data it collected and to which it has so far refused him access.

“We need to verify what confidential information the company surreptitiously and wrongfully collected and stored,” Blumenthal said in a statement, adding that doing so is “crucial to assessing a penalty and assuring no repeat.”

Though Google has already shared some of the data with other regulatory authorities, it evidently sees little need for such verification and clearly has no intention of handing any data over to Blumenthal’s office.

“As we have said before, we are profoundly sorry for having mistakenly collected payload data from unencrypted networks,” the company said in a statement rehashing the endless string of similar statements that preceded it. “As soon as we realized what had happened, we stopped collecting all WiFi data from our Street View cars and immediately informed the authorities. We did not want and have never used the payload data in any of our products and services. We want to delete this data as soon as possible and will continue to work with the authorities to determine the best way forward, as well as to answer their further questions and concerns.”

Google has until Dec. 17 to give Blumenthal’s office access to the data. Or else…


[Image credit: Someecards]

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work