Latest in Allegation

Image credit:

Google to disclose WiFi snooping data to regulators amid allegations it was collected intentionally

Vlad Savov
06.04.10
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

And the mess gets messier. A class action lawsuit filed against Google in Oregon has now been enriched with the allegation that Google willfully collected personal data with its Street View cars, rather than doing so accidentally, as it claims. It's a bold accusation, whose primary basis is a patent application, filed by Google in November 2008, for a "computer-implemented method of estimating the location of a wireless device." A subsidiary claim references the "obtaining [of] one or more packets of data transmitted" from one wireless device to another to help estimate accuracy of location results. That's the supposedly damning verbiage that shows Google intentionally created WiFi-snooping software, and it's also what's being relied on to show that Mountain View couldn't have been ignorant of the data collection going on. Yes, it's quite a stretch, but that's what lawyers are for: mental gymnastics.

Over in Europe, Google is doing its best to placate local regulators, some of whom are contemplating criminal charges against the multinational company, by agreeing to hand over all data that was collected by its vehicles. France, Germany and Spain will be first to peruse the info, though presumably there'll be an open door to other nosy governments as well. Doesn't that strike you as weird -- having your private data protected by letting a bunch more people look at it?

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Three Mile Island's infamous nuclear plant shuts down after 45 years

Three Mile Island's infamous nuclear plant shuts down after 45 years

View
Samsung asks users to be extra careful with the Galaxy Fold

Samsung asks users to be extra careful with the Galaxy Fold

View
Uber sues NYC over vehicle caps

Uber sues NYC over vehicle caps

View
Australia will help NASA go to the Moon and Mars

Australia will help NASA go to the Moon and Mars

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr