Google accused of wiretapping in latest lawsuit

The San Francisco federal appeals court says a class action lawsuit against Google will proceed after they were accused of illegal wiretapping during street view operations. The technology giant allegedly violated the U.S. Wiretap Act by collecting people's personal correspondence and online activities from unencrypted WI-FI networks as it gathered images for its mapping program.

This is the second time Google's street view dilemma has landed them in court and has already cost the company $7 million in fines.

Vehicles similar to the one displayed above could be stealing your internet data.

The demands of the appeals court comes after Google tried to have the case dismissed. Their lawyers claim the activities were exempt from the Wiretap Act because data transmitted over a WI-FI network is "radio communication" and is "readily accessible to the public".

In response to the Californian based company, the three judge panel ruled it as uncommon to use the data for commercial purposes.

"Even if it is commonplace for members of the general public to connect to a neighbour's unencrypted WI-FI network, members of the general public do not typically mistakenly intercept, store, and decode data transmitted by other devices on the network".

The U.S., France and Germany were among the nations to investigate the claims after computer users complained about the company's data-gathering practices from 2008-2010. Attorney Elizabeth Cabraser, representing a class action of internet users that accuse Google of privacy invasion, said she "looks forward" to resuming the case.

Sources: SMHSky | Images: 9to5travel

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17 Comments

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It isn't going nuts. It's hoping like heck Google finally gets burned to the max, like they deserve!

Never have and never will like them or use thier crap!

It's the equivalent of someone singing karaoke through loudspeakers in their front yard, and then complaining because they don't want anyone else to hear it.

So people are concerned about Google getting "information" about them from their open unencrypted WiFi? Lol, what about the guy out front of their house using it to hack or download illegal things? I guess it's only bad because it's Google.

I know people who will drive around on their lunch break, or work out of their car, and will tap in to others unsecured internet. My Aunts son-in law told them that putting a pass code on her wireless will slow her connection as well and he took off the code leaving it unsecured. I rolled my eyes a little and re-secured her internet.

DarkTorizo said,
So people are concerned about Google getting "information" about them from their open unencrypted WiFi? Lol, what about the guy out front of their house using it to hack or download illegal things? I guess it's only bad because it's Google.

One if FACT one isn't, even if some one is caught using someone elses wifi illegally then they will be in court too.

This case has been going on for a while. The case just was decided to move forward and Google couldnt get it stopped. Old news and I am sure Google will have to pay something. Whether it was a mistake or not, doesnt matter. Data was collected but that was over 3yrs ago. Google better have changed things and I am betting they did since no new cases have been filed. If not, then i am sure this isnt the end of it by far.

And why wouldnt people have their internet secured? It is idiot proof these days. Buy a wireless router, pop in the CD, and follow a few instructions.

techbeck said,
This case has been going on for a while. The case just was decided to move forward and Google couldnt get it stopped. Old news and I am sure Google will have to pay something. Whether it was a mistake or not, doesnt matter. Data was collected but that was over 3yrs ago. Google better have changed things and I am betting they did since no new cases have been filed. If not, then i am sure this isnt the end of it by far.

And why wouldnt people have their internet secured? It is idiot proof these days. Buy a wireless router, pop in the CD, and follow a few instructions.

I think they all come secured by default now, you don't even have to do much other than put it in and turn it on. The key is written on the back of the modem etc.

GP007 said,

I think they all come secured by default now, you don't even have to do much other than put it in and turn it on. The key is written on the back of the modem etc.

The back is a PIN number. I setup a new linksys last weekend for someone. Setup process via the CD asks to setup a pass phrase, type of security, and router name.

Whether it was truly an accident or not, doesn't matter. It happened and the courts will sort it out. Its like getting pulled over for speeding. I am sorry officer, it was an accident...well you are getting a ticket anyway. Accidents dont clear you from being libel.