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Google Street View WiFi Data Collection Lawsuit Amended
"snoop" technology patent filed in 2008

 9:26 am on Jun 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

An amendment to the Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Google Street View WiFi Data [webmasterworld.com] was filed in federal court.

from the Computerworld [computerworld.com] story:
A just-amended complaint in a class-action lawsuit first submitted two weeks ago claims that a patent Google submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in November 2008 shows that the search giant purposefully created technology to gather, analyze and use data sent by users over their wireless networks.
In its patent application [appft1.uspto.gov], Google noted that multiple antennas could be mounted on vehicles, which would be able to obtain a more accurate estimate of the router's location based on a "stereo" effect.
"As disclosed in the '776 Application, the more types and greater the quantity of Wi-Fi data obtained, decoded, and analyzed by Google from any particular user, the higher its 'confidence level' in the calculated location of that user's wireless AP," the changed lawsuit stated. "Collection, decoding, and analysis of a user's payload data would, therefore, serve to increase the accuracy, value, usability, and marketability of Google's new method."

so the real story in google's privacy intrusion was the plan to use wifi signatures to locate consumers.
i'm guessing that three or more identified wifi signals and the relative signal strength is enough information to put you in front of or adjacent to the right building.
i can already hear the jingles on my phone as i approach the fast food intersection.

[edited by: tedster at 2:10 am (utc) on Jun 6, 2010]
[edit reason] small spelling fix [/edit]



 1:44 pm on Jun 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

but 99% of us knew this already. You don't "accidentally" collect that type of data. You go out into the streets having deliberately written the software to collect it and carrying the hardware that allows you to. The idea, by the usual fanboy suspects on here, that it was an "honest mistake", "nothing malicious" was risible.


 8:18 pm on Jun 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Some of those 99% write that type of software for living, and every body i spoke with don't see how "honest mistake" thingy can fly unless there it is programmed for.

Say Cheese? Hardly.

...to increase the accuracy..

that is a different story...

I mean think about it... it did not take nube to uncover the plot, so the dudeless "zanches" must of known what he/she was doing to hide it but only 99%.


 10:32 pm on Jun 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes we all knew that Google where lying in this Point, but its always good to see it on print, you can not trust that company when its about collecting date/Privacy like I said a few times its a Modern form of Stasi.


 3:23 pm on Jun 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

PR Disaster in the making once these cases hit the courts and discovery is granted to see what Google was really up to.

Nearly three weeks after admitting that it had sniffed sensitive data from open wireless networks around the world, Google is now facing at least seven U.S. class-action lawsuits over its practice.

The first lawsuit was filed on May 17 on behalf of Vicki Van Valin of Oregon and Neil Mertz of Washington. Since then, the lawsuits haven't stopped coming. Google is now facing two more cases in California courts, one in Illinois, two in Washington, D.C., and another in Florida, brought by Internet service provider Galaxy Internet Services.

The lawsuits claim that Google violated federal wiretapping laws by sniffing wireless traffic -- including the content of e-mails and Web-surfing activity -- with its Google Street View cars. The specially equipped cars drive public streets, taking photographs and recording GPS coordinates to create Street View, a Google map product made up of photographs.

[edited by: engine at 8:27 am (utc) on Jun 7, 2010]
[edit reason] added attribution link [/edit]


 3:38 pm on Jun 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Last week, a federal judge in Oregon ordered Google to turn over copies of the data it collected in conjunction with a lawsuit filed against the company.


 7:54 pm on Jun 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Also in Australia:

(From IT Wire) [itwire.com...]

Federal Attorney-General Robert McLelland has reportedly asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate whether Google breached any laws during its inadvertent collection of Wi-Fi data by it Street View cars while they were taking photographs of locations around the globe.


 1:10 am on Jun 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

please note the totally erroneous use of the word "inadvertent" in that sentence. A 8th grade English teacher would wince at that.


 11:31 am on Jun 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google to provide data to European authorities [uk.reuters.com]
Google Inc said on Saturday it would hand over data it collected through wireless networks to French, German and Spanish authorities as it faces mounting legal issues concerning its data collection.


 9:01 pm on Jun 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm no G-hater, and at the same time I understand and see-through the corporate lies. Obviously, the wireless traffic data was no "mistake". You got to be a fool to believe that.

But the ethical question is complicated. A lot of geographical data is already available, and with geo-location being built-in the HTML 5 standard (and already supported by Firefox and other browsers), your geographical location will soon be available to all. Also, GPS and wireless-tower triangulation already feed geolocation data from wireless devices.

To top it all, if your home wi-fi is open, then all and anyone has access to it.

Still, I think G should be punished for this. All geo-data collection should be opt-in.

But it doesn't stop there; G is not the ultimate target here. Protection of your privacy is the ultimate target and the fight should be larger and longer than G sniffing of 14 of your open wi-fi packets.


 11:10 pm on Jun 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Great, so now not only did Google get your private data, but now all of these courts will too.


 8:56 pm on Jun 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google is "almost certain" to face prosecution for collecting data from unsecured wi-fi networks, according to Privacy International (PI).


Google has released an independent audit of the rogue code, which it has claimed was included in the StreetView software by mistake.

But PI is convinced the audit proves "criminal intent".



 9:08 pm on Jun 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Great, so now not only did Google get your private data, but now all of these courts will too.

Not so private when you broadcast it without encryption into public air space, but you raise a great point.

In trying to protect people and their info they are making the info available to even more people.

We will never know what Google would have done with the data if left to their own devices but they didn't do anything with it and now in an effort to protect people something is being done with that data. It is being disclosed to even more people. Quite ironic.

All it takes is 1 dishonest court clerk or office intern to use that data for evil.


 11:58 pm on Jun 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Did I miss it somewhere, is G saying they are handing over the ONLY copy of the info? That is, G will not keep a copy?


 3:22 pm on Jun 10, 2010 (gmt 0)


this isn't going to go well for them at all, but what can you say...they asked for it.

Google accused of criminal intent over StreetView data


 3:10 am on Jun 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

The following message was cut out to new thread by engine. New thread at: goog/4155191.htm [webmasterworld.com]
10:26 am on Jun 19, 2010 (utc +1)

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