Google threatened with legal action over Wi-Fi scandal

Google has been threatened with legal action by a 38-state coalition in the US looking for more info on the Wi-Fi data collection scandal.

Google

Google has been asked by a 38-state coalition in the US to provide more information on the search giant's collection of data from Wi-Fi connections during its Street View road trips.

Attorney General for the State of Connecticut Richard Blumenthal, a leading member of the coalition, threatened to take legal action against Google if "complete, comprehensive answers" are not given.

The coalition has written to Google, asking whether the Street View software was tested before use.

Trialling the software would have revealed it collected data sent over wireless networks, according to Blumenthal.

"Google's responses continue to generate more questions than they answer," Blumenthal said.

"We are asking Google to identify specific individuals responsible for the snooping code and how Google was unaware that this code allowed the Street View cars to collect data broadcast over Wi-Fi networks. Information we are awaiting includes how the spy software was included in Google's Street View network and specific locations where unauthorised data collection occurred."

States other than Conneticut on the executive committee investigating Google's data collection are Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri and Texas.

"Consumers have a right to expect that data transmitted over personal and business wireless networks remains confidential. Our multistate investigation will determine whether laws were broken and whether legislation is necessary to prevent future privacy breaches," Blumenthal added.

A Google spokesperson told IT PRO: "As we've said before, it was a mistake for us to include code in our software that collected payload data, but we believe we did nothing illegal. We're continuing to work with the relevant authorities to answer their questions and concerns."

Earlier this month, Google sent its Street View cars back out on the road in Ireland, Norway, South Africa and Sweden.

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