US judge wants copies of Google-captured Wi-Fi data

May 27, 2010
Camera of a street-view car, used to photograph whole streets, on the Google street-view stand at the world's biggest high-tech fair, the CeBIT in the northern German city of Hanover. A federal judge has ordered Google to turn over copies of US private wireless data it captured while taking pictures for its "Street View" mapping service.

A federal judge has ordered Google to turn over copies of US private wireless data it captured while taking pictures for its "Street View" mapping service.

The encrypted data will be held under seal and kept as a backup in case any of it is determined to be legally admissible evidence in a class action case filed against the Internet giant in federal court in the state of Oregon.

Google is facing civil suits in Oregon and several other US states demanding millions of dollars in damages over its collection of personal wireless information.

The litigation accuses Google of violating local and federal privacy laws when vehicles out taking pictures for its online also collected unencrypted data from open .

Google has apologized for what it said was the inadvertent gathering of fragments of personal data sent over unsecured Wi-Fi systems.

"Google will retain the source hard drive and the encryption key," District Court Judge Michael Mosman said in an order issued this week and posted online on Thursday.

"Access to the data on the source hard drive retained by Google will be determined in the normal course of discovery."

Discovery is the legal term for the process of gathering evidence to be used in court. The "clone hard drive" will be kept safe in court as a backup, according to the judge's order.

US lawmakers have asked regulators whether the Internet giant had broken the law by capturing personal wireless data and Italian and German authorities are also looking into the matter.

Street View allows users to view panoramic street scenes on Maps and "walk" through cities such as New York, Paris or Hong Kong.

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zealous
4.8 / 5 (5) May 27, 2010
I don't understand this, I was under the assumption that laws concerning unencrypted wireless transmitions were like privacy laws, meaning you don't fault the guy walking along the street that's sees someone naked in the window, you fault the person for not closing the blinds.
jselin
3.7 / 5 (3) May 27, 2010
This case is the equivalent of taking a picture of that person in the window without their consent.

I don't understand this, I was under the assumption that laws concerning unencrypted wireless transmitions were like privacy laws, meaning you don't fault the guy walking along the street that's sees someone naked in the window, you fault the person for not closing the blinds.

zealous
5 / 5 (1) May 27, 2010
Since when did you need consent to take someone's picture? Just look at the scum of the earth otherwise called papparazi, they take pictures of stars all the time, how about that person who just rented property by palin to study her for a book. As long as you are not on their property and they are in full view of you, you have every right to do as you wise, doesn't make it moraly right but it's not against the law as far as I know.
VOR
2 / 5 (1) May 27, 2010
Im all for privacy protection, but this particular case is overblown. But its true Google shouldnt have collected any data. I thought they were just trying to just survey active wifi networks so I dont see why they collected data.
Freedomchips
5 / 5 (2) May 27, 2010
Well, as I understand media law, celebrities or public figures have less of a right to privacy (although there is no such thing, per the written law), and you can take photos of someone from plain view. So if you just had a normal camera, and took a picture of their window, it's kosher. But if you're using infrared or something, you're going to get in trouble. Well, you're probably going to get in trouble either way, but one is easier to defend than the other.
Intheory
not rated yet May 28, 2010
Google & Privacy? Har Har. This is where it's all headed folks! Hilarious

http://www.youtub...TENNiZE0
ricarguy
not rated yet May 28, 2010
They call this Google thing an invasion of privacy? If the info didn't go anywhere, why not just shred the hard drive(s) in question and call it a day.

Meanwhile this U.S. Dept. of Justice is arguing in court that they can intercept any and all email at any time, or that they can get anyone's GPS coordinates off their cell phone at any time, that there is no right to such privacy.

Maybe journalists should pay attention to things that impact normal people's lives instead of this crap.
HealingMindN
not rated yet May 28, 2010
And now the US govt has access to all that data too!


Yeah! Can't Google just destroy that data a la Ollie North? Protect the privacy of American Citizens and all that?

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