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Google fined $7 million over hotspot data grab By Sophie Estienne (AFP) – Mar 12, 2013
G Will Pay $7 Million To Settle Street View Data Capturing Case
G admited privcy breach
<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-40691" title="streetview" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2012/04/streetview1.jpeg" alt="" width="660" height="495" /> The Justice Department has cleared Google of wiretapping violations in connection to the company secretly intercepting Americans’ data on unencrypted Wi-Fi routers for two years ending in 2010, Google said. “The DOJ had access to Google employees, reviewed the key documents, and concluded that it would not pursue a case for violation of the Wiretap Act,” Google wrote in a Thursday filing (.pdf) with the Federal Communications Commission.
The Federal Communications Commission is clearing Google of wrongdoing in connection to it secretly intercepting Americans’ data on unencrypted Wi-Fi routers. The commission concluded Friday, in an order unveiled Monday, that no wiretapping laws were violated when the search giant’s Street View mapping cars eavesdropped on open Wi-Fi networks across America. The FCC said that, between 2008 and 2010, “Google’s Street View cars collected names, addresses, telephone numbers, URL’s, passwords, e-mail, text messages, medical records, video and audio files, and other information from internet users in the United States.”
FCC to Google
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The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday it is investigating a data breach by Google, whose Street View mapping cars scooped up e-mail addresses and passwords from unencrypted residential Wi-Fi networks. “Last month, Google disclosed that its Street View cars collected passwords, e-mails and other personal information wirelessly from unsuspecting people across the country,” said Michele Ellison, the FCC's enforcement bureau chief. “In light of their public disclosure, we can now confirm that the Enforcement Bureau is looking into whether these actions violate the Communications Act."
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The federal government has ended an inquiry into a privacy breach involving Google's Street View service, satisfied with the company's pledge to stop gathering e-mail, passwords and other information from residential WiFi networks as it rolls through neighborhoods. Wednesday's decision by the Federal Trade Commission is a sharp contrast with the reaction of regulators in Europe. The United Kingdom has launched a new investigation into Google's collection of unencrypted WiFi data, exposing the company to potential fines. Germany told Google to mark its Street View cars that take pictures of neighborhoods and homes. The Czech Republic banned Google from expanding its mapping software program. The differences highlight an increasing gap between regulators in the United States, where the freewheeling Internet culture has birthed many of the social networking sites and search engines used worldwide, and governments in Europe and Canada, which tend to be much more aggressive about privacy.
Two of Google's chief congressional critics on Wednesday called on federal regulators to investigate whether the search company's inadvertent collection of Street View Wi-Fi data violates the law. In a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz, they prod the agency to evaluate whether accidental capture of brief snippets of Wi-Fi traffic is an "unfair or deceptive act" that has harmed consumers. On Friday, Google acknowledged that its Street View cars had unintentionally intercepted fragments of data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks for periods of 200 milliseconds at a time.
Computerworld - Google's secret Wi-Fi snooping was powered by new sniffing technology that the company wants to patent, court documents filed Wednesday alleged. A just-amended complaint in a class-action lawsuit first submitted two weeks ago claims that a patent Google submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in November 2008 shows that the search giant purposefully created technology to gather, analyze and use data sent by users over their wireless networks. The lawsuit, which was filed by an Oregon woman and a Washington man in a Portland, Ore. federal court May 17, accused Google of violating federal privacy and data acquisition laws when its Street View vehicles snatched data from unprotected Wi-Fi networks as they drove up and down U.S. streets.
<img class="alignright size-full wp-image-18709" title="Screen shot 2010-08-20 at 11.02.58 AM" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2010/08/Screen-shot-2010-08-20-at-11.02.58-AM.png" alt="" width="494" height="370" /> Whether Google is liable for damages for secretly intercepting data on open Wi-Fi routers across the United States is to be aired out in a Silicon Valley federal court. Eight proposed class actions from across the country that seek unspecified monetary damages from Google were consolidated this week and transferred to U.S. District Judge James Ware in San Jose, California. Another five cases are likely to join. The lawsuits allege that Google violated federal and state privacy laws in collecting fragments of data from unencrypted wireless networks as its fleet of camera-equipped cars moseyed through neighborhoods snapping pictures for its Street View program.
p2pnet view Politics | Advertising:- Spain is now a member of the growing list of countries investigating Google’s Street View. Judge Raquel Fernandino has launched a probe to determine if the company illegally collected data from unsecured wireless networks while its SnoopMobiles scoured the streets. Fernandino “summoned a legal representative of Google in Spain to appear before her in October over the suit, said an association promoting the rights of Internet users, APEDANICA”, according to the Barcelona Reporter .