Google Sued For Collecting Payload Data In Street View Debacle

You can trust Google, right? Right?
Two more plaintiffs have filed yet another class action lawsuit against Google for collecting private data as its cars drove around photographing every corner in the country -- and several other countries as well -- for Google Street View.

The British government recently let Google off the hook for what the company claimed back in May was an unintentional "error." While Google says it has removed the technology that collected the data, the company is under investigation in this country and the law suits are piling up.

The latest complainants are Jennifer Locsin of Contra Costa County and and James Blackwell of Alameda County via a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland last week. Both use open Wi-Fi network at their residences, which can be viewed on Street View, according to the suit. The complaint states that, in capturing photographs of streets, Google recorded "all data being transmitted on open Wi-Fi networks within range as they were being driven around photographing most of the U.S. and much of the world."

Thumbnail image for google_lego.gif
Gayle Laakmann
Is Google building something evil?
Google "recorded every website visited, every video watched and every email sent or received over open Wi-Fi netowrks while in range of Google's Street View vehicles. However, Google conveniently failed to tell and or provide anyone with clear information detailing the nature of the new service." That accusation conflicts with the assertion of the British Information Commissioner's Office when clearing Google last week, saying it was "unlikely that Google will have captured significant amounts of personal data" an the purloined information did not contain any "meaningful personal details that could be linked to an identifiable person."

The new lawsuit claims violations of the computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the California Computer Crime Law, and the business and professional code. The class is suing for damages and demands an injunction preventing Google from continuing to operate Street View "without appropriate safeguards, default profisions and or opt-in mechanisms to ensure the private data of its users is not improperly disclosed, compromised and or transmitted in the future."

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