AfterDawn: Tech news

Google Street View privacy lawsuit upheld

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Sep 2013 10:01 User comments (6)

Google Street View privacy lawsuit upheld A federal appeals court has rejected Google's attempt to have a lawsuit concerning Street View data interception dismissed.
In May 2010, Google publicly revealed that the vehicles it uses to take panoramic shots of streets around the world had been accidentally intercepting and storing payload data from unsecured wireless networks. Analysis of the data done in various regions showed that the data included private communications of Internet users.

Since then, regulators around the world have instructed Google on what they should do about the accidental hoarding of the data, with pretty much all ordering it be destroyed as soon as possible.

On the litigation front, Google is facing a lawsuit which alleges it violated federal wiretap laws by intercepting payload data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks in the United States. It had asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the lawsuit - finding that Google was exempt from liability under the act - but the effort has failed.



Judge Jay Bybee wrote that Wi-Fi communications do not qualify as a radio communication, or electronic communication that is readily accessible to the general public.

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

A spokesperson for Google said it was disappointed with the decision, and that it was considering its next steps.

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6 user comments

114.9.2013 14:05

Yeah. The NSA "accidentally" hired them.

214.9.2013 16:29

well i think, streetveiw ,maps and earth is pretty decent, if people are up to no good then tough luck, i have found google very useful for driving to a place out of town (278 miles away) and shows me the road i should be on when i reach the destination.

314.9.2013 18:24

Who the hell keeps their wireless network unsecured anyway? your own faults.. Gawd

414.9.2013 22:39

Besides goog, and altavista, anything not controlled is a conspiracy or compsiracy .. Flag, blow back, finally ..

515.9.2013 01:12

It's not that Google read the data, it's that Google kept the data. What the hell for?! The only possible answers involve some kind of shady behavior, and the judge in this case apparently agrees.

615.9.2013 12:05

why would google even be picking up the signals as they are scanning(taking continuous pictures) so only signal they would need is gps?

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