Google is now facing probes by a total of 38 States in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, over its StreetView Wi-Fi data collection. Connecticut's attorney general is now quizzing the search giant on the 'snooping' process.
37 States, Plus The District Of Columbia
Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's attorney general, who is leading the probe for the 37 States involved and the District of Columbia, sent a letter to Google requesting information on the StreetView software and on those who were responsible for the software in question. He set a Friday (i.e. tomorrow) deadline for getting the answers.
"We will take all appropriate steps -- including potential legal action if warranted -- to obtain complete, comprehensive answers," Blumenthal said in a statement.
What the Attorney General wants to know is whether Google had conducted tests prior to using the software and knew it would pick up personal data from unprotected wireless networks. He also wants to find out who inserted the data collection code in the software. Finally, he also wants to be told how many states were affected by the sweeping snoop.
The case took a new twist a couple of weeks ago as Consumer Watchdog revealed that Google had also potentially picked up data from the home networks of members of Congress and Homeland Security officials.
Google has acknowledged its responsibility and is on its best behavior with authorities, showing its willingness to cooperate. Its spokeswoman, Christine Chen, was quoted by ThomsonReuters as saying: "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."
The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Register today!