Connecticut considering suit over Google WiFi data

The Connecticut Attorney General’s Office is considering filing suit against Google, after Google failed to meet a deadline for turning over data it collected with its street view cameras on Friday.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal stated today, “I am disappointed by Google's failure to comply with my information demands. We will review any information we receive and consider whether additional enforcement steps -- including possible legal action -- are warranted.”

Earlier this year Google Street View cars were accidently collecting data sent over unencrypted wireless networks. These vehicles traveled the roads taking street level photos for Google maps. Wi-Fi was used to help pinpoint a vehicles location, but these cars also collected data transmitted over unsecured wireless networks at the same time.

Computerworld reports, Google has not yet explained why it hasn't complied with request, but that they are “profoundly sorry” for collecting any data transmitted over any network. Google also wants “to delete the 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.”

On December 10th the attorney general’s office subpoenaed Google to turn over the data it collected. The office explained they want to verify what information Google has “surreptitiously and wrongfully” collected. The office wants to use this information to help determine if any privacy laws were broken, as the goes on to state, “Reviewing this information is vital because Google's story changed, first claiming only fragments were collected, then acknowledging entire emails. Verifying Google's data snare is crucial to assessing a penalty and assuring no repeat”.

Other states including Illinois, Washington, D.C, California, and Florida have already filed suites or begun investigations into the wireless data Google acquired. Globally, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, South Korea, Australia, and the UK have also begun procedures for similar privacy investigations.

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26 Comments

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God, Blumenthal is the biggest waste of oxygen in this state. I can't believe that the morons here always vote Democrat no matter what.

episode said,
God, Blumenthal is the biggest waste of oxygen in this state. I can't believe that the morons here always vote Democrat no matter what.

Blumenthal is one of the best things that ever happened in CT. Who'd you vote for, the WWE CEO? Lol, yeah she's done a lot for this state. Also I never vote so I'm not a Republican or a Democrat but I can tell you this: Republicans screwed up this country much worse than any Democrat ever DREAMED of. You're one of those idiots that voted for Bush, then voted for him a second time, right? Yeah, great plan....

I'm gonna dread the day you idiots vote PALIN into office. Because that's just how stupid this country is.

not surprising, google is like that one kid in school that you swore was following you around - you know? like you turn around and he goes back around the corner.

google was probobly intentionally collecting this data, they love data, they get high off of it.

"Grabbing some data from a wireless network is not different than looking into the window of that home. "
I don't keep,review and decipher what I've seen looking into a window.
secure or unsecure should make no difference.

Its as simple as this; How, why and for what purpose was the code that was specifically wrote to scan, collect, and store doing on their vehicles. I can understand having a piece of software wrote for GPS tracking via Wifi and I can understand another project within Google working on this code but in what reasoning is there for this code specifically doing in their street viewer vehicles. So I ask how is this a crock of ****?

Morphine-X said,
Its as simple as this; How, why and for what purpose was the code that was specifically wrote to scan, collect, and store doing on their vehicles.

It doesn't matter. this violates no privacy laws, I could drive around collecting information from completely unsecured networks exactly the same way.

omnicoder said,

It doesn't matter. this violates no privacy laws, I could drive around collecting information from completely unsecured networks exactly the same way.
Right. So by your logic, if you left your keys in your car, and the car got stolen, it's your fault and yours alone. The thief should just get away with it because it's basically your fault. Isn't it? Stupid comments like yours make me ****ing sick.

Just because something is left open, doesn't mean it needs to be stolen. Don't be stupid. Don't be evil.

Jebadiah said,
Right. So by your logic, if you left your keys in your car, and the car got stolen, it's your fault and yours alone. The thief should just get away with it because it's basically your fault. Isn't it? Stupid comments like yours make me ****ing sick.

Just because something is left open, doesn't mean it needs to be stolen. Don't be stupid. Don't be evil.

Not really. He isn't saying that at all. Google collected random packets of data during normal processes to identify which networks are where. They used the network location information to assist in identifying your approximate location. The packets themselves probably not enough to do any harm. As it stands most people should put some form of protection their network. Grabbing some data from a wireless network is not different than looking into the window of that home.

Jebadiah said,
Right. So by your logic, if you left your keys in your car, and the car got stolen, it's your fault and yours alone. The thief should just get away with it because it's basically your fault. Isn't it? Stupid comments like yours make me ****ing sick.

Just because something is left open, doesn't mean it needs to be stolen. Don't be stupid. Don't be evil.

That's a bad analogy. The Thief still has to walk up to your car, open the car door, sit down, turn the key, put the car into drive and drive off.

An unencrypted wifi point is just spewing unencrypted information out throwing itself at anything that is listening.

If you still insist on using a car analogy, then think of the car as a transformer. A person leaves their car unlocked and the keys in the ignition. Because the car is unlocked and the key is in the ignition the car is free to transform. It then transforms, and grabs the nearest thief, throws him in the drivers seat, starts the car as well as puts it into to drive for him and drives the thief off with the car.

Edited by warwagon, Dec 18 2010, 7:55pm :

Jebadiah said,
Right. So by your logic, if you left your keys in your car, and the car got stolen, it's your fault and yours alone. The thief should just get away with it because it's basically your fault. Isn't it? Stupid comments like yours make me ****ing sick.

Just because something is left open, doesn't mean it needs to be stolen. Don't be stupid. Don't be evil.

how is car theft and open, unencrypted wireless data recording even in the same league? honestly, i don't see any relevant connection whatsoever

warwagon said,
That's a bad analogy. The Thief still has to walk up to your car, open the car door, sit down, turn the key, put the car into drive and drive off.

An unencrypted wifi point is just spewing unencrypted information out throwing itself at anything that is listening.

If you still insist on using a car analogy, then think of the car as a transformer. A person leaves their car unlocked and the keys in the ignition. Because the car is unlocked and the key is in the ignition the car is free to transform. It then transforms, and grabs the nearest thief, throws him in the drivers seat, starts the car as well as puts it into to drive for him and drives the thief off with the car.

You assume stealing involves pushing someone away from the driver's seat. It doesn't. You just agree to disagree maybe because Google is your family friend? I have no idea why people are trying to stick with Google on this when they are the ones who stole the data without permission in the first place. Saying "sorry" doesn't cut it. Good luck trying to disprove my analogy.

Jebadiah said,
You assume stealing involves pushing someone away from the driver's seat. It doesn't. You just agree to disagree maybe because Google is your family friend? I have no idea why people are trying to stick with Google on this when they are the ones who stole the data without permission in the first place. Saying "sorry" doesn't cut it. Good luck trying to disprove my analogy.

for christs sake, how the **** is it stealing. IT WAS UNENCRYPTED. OPEN TO BE RECORDED. after they recorded it, it was still there. no theft. same thing as walking by a radio with a microphone, but slightly more sophisticated.

people disagree with you because you call it stealing. doesn't matter if I love google or not

Jebadiah said,
You assume stealing involves pushing someone away from the driver's seat. It doesn't. You just agree to disagree maybe because Google is your family friend? I have no idea why people are trying to stick with Google on this when they are the ones who stole the data without permission in the first place. Saying "sorry" doesn't cut it. Good luck trying to disprove my analogy.

I don't think steeling involves pushing anyone out out of the drivers seat. It's the complete opposite, the drives seat comes to the thief.

Actually now that I think about it some more, unencrypted wifi is like a radio station sending out it's broadcast over a tower. Anyone with a radio can pick it up and listen to it.

Jebadiah said,
You assume stealing involves pushing someone away from the driver's seat. It doesn't. You just agree to disagree maybe because Google is your family friend? I have no idea why people are trying to stick with Google on this when they are the ones who stole the data without permission in the first place. Saying "sorry" doesn't cut it. Good luck trying to disprove my analogy.

I don't think stealing involves pushing someone away from the driver's seat. In fact I think the drivers seat comes to the thief.

Now that I think about it some more, open unencrypted wifi is like a radio station. Anyone with a radio can just pick it up and listen to it.

spalek83 said,

for christs sake, how the **** is it stealing. IT WAS UNENCRYPTED. OPEN TO BE RECORDED. after they recorded it, it was still there. no theft. same thing as walking by a radio with a microphone, but slightly more sophisticated.

people disagree with you because you call it stealing. doesn't matter if I love google or not

+1 one of the better analogies I've heard.

google may not be perfect, but honestly this is the biggest crock of **** ever.

it was from unsecured networks. they weren't hacking. anyone else could of done exactly the same thing, and still can. why isn't energy being put in preventing the problem(which is probably mostly impossible at this point anyways.. but anyway), instead of this bs

warwagon said,
Oh god, just secure your wifi for **** sake and get on with it!
Oh god, Google just hand it over to the authoritaa for **** sake and get on with it.

Jebadiah said,
Oh god, Google just hand it over to the authoritaa for **** sake and get on with it.

But should Google really do so? Would this private information be better off in the hands of the gov as well? The data should just be simply destroyed.

I can imagine some of the people in gov offices salivating over the thought of obtaining such information.

Edited by shockz, Dec 18 2010, 10:49am :

Blasius said,

But should Google really do so? Would this private information be better off in the hands of the gov as well? The data should just be simply destroyed.

I can't imagine some of the people in gov offices salivating over the thought of obtaining such information.

Yes. The people elected the government. Nobody elected Google.

Jebadiah said,
Yes. The people elected the government. Nobody elected Google.

We all know that most of the government is corrupt anyways. I say just destroy the data (to NSA standards) and be done with it. Also everyone should be securing their network. All wireless routers/gateways supplied by ISP come with some sort of security enabled by default.

Jebadiah said,
Yes. The people elected the government. Nobody elected Google.

OK First off I never voted so I didn't elect anyone for anything. Even if I did does that mean I want them to have private data? Um no. I elect MYSELF to govern my personal data, not some government agency.

god.send.death said,
OK First off I never voted so I didn't elect anyone for anything. Even if I did does that mean I want them to have private data? Um no. I elect MYSELF to govern my personal data, not some government agency.
Good for you. I never voted myself. If you went to school and learned anything, you would know the government is elected for taking care of the peoples. Just because you didn't vote, doesn't mean there is no government ruling over you in that country.

You can elect yourself guardian of your data. Sure. Doesn't mean Google or someone else can't come steal it. This is exactly why Germans were ****ed at Google, because it was creepy that someone just read all their data through the unsecured Wi-Fi. Also, just that you know, all encrypted data can be decrypted. Duh. That is the purpose of it. So I don't see why "secured" or "unsecured" makes a difference here. Stealing data over Wi-Fi is stealing and an invasion of privacy. Period.

Jebadiah said,
Good for you. I never voted myself. If you went to school and learned anything, you would know the government is elected for taking care of the peoples. Just because you didn't vote, doesn't mean there is no government ruling over you in that country.

You can elect yourself guardian of your data. Sure. Doesn't mean Google or someone else can't come steal it. This is exactly why Germans were ****ed at Google, because it was creepy that someone just read all their data through the unsecured Wi-Fi. Also, just that you know, all encrypted data can be decrypted. Duh. That is the purpose of it. So I don't see why "secured" or "unsecured" makes a difference here. Stealing data over Wi-Fi is stealing and an invasion of privacy. Period.

I never said the govt isn't ruling over me because I didn't vote. I said I didn't elect them, and I didn't.