Msg#: 4333574 posted 11:43 am on Jul 1, 2011 (gmt 0)
Google Loses Bid to Dismiss Street View Suit Over Privacy-Violation Claims
Google Inc. must face a lawsuit claiming its data collection using Wi-Fi networks for its Street View program, which allows users see photographs of roadsides, violates wiretapping laws, a judge said.
U.S. District Judge James Ware in San Francisco denied Google’s bid to dismiss claims that the data collection, which included e-mails, user names, passwords and other private data, violated federal wiretap laws. Ware granted Google’s request to dismiss claims based on state statutes.
“Although the networks themselves were unencrypted, the networks were configured to prevent the general public from gaining access to the data packets without the assistance of sophisticated technology,” Ware wrote. “Merely pleading that a network is unencrypted does not render that network readily accessible to the general public” and make interception of communications from that network immune from liability, the judge said.
I never seen this mentioned by anyone else, but I think their main purpose was to gps as many land based ip addresses they could find. Being able to correctly locate an ip address is and will continue to be important to any search provider. It maybe so important that they rather say it was accidental than to give their real intentions away.